Here’s how to stay abreast of what customers are saying about your company on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
1. Set up alerts and conduct regular web searches. To find comments outside of your own established business pages, set up Google Alerts for your name and your business name (put quotation marks around any proper names to get the most accurate results). For the result type, click on Everything to receive email notifications whenever your business gets mentioned on blogs and discussion sites. Meanwhile, use the search tools on social media sites to plug in keywords related to your company and industry. This will pull up what’s being said in the social sphere about your business and businesses like yours.
2. Consider investing in a monitoring tool. “With a small business, you want to make sure you have a pulse on what’s being said about you,” says Andrew Caravella, vice president of marketing for Sprout Social, whose social-media management software includes a monitoring component. The system scours Facebook and Twitter for mentions of a particular brand or keyword. Other useful tools that can find social media conversations: Topsy, Trackur, and Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud.
3. Make people feel as if they’re being heard. Although you don’t want to get caught in the fray of complainers who spend their free time criticizing everyone online, you do want your business to come across as caring and responsive. Often the complainers just want to be acknowledged. A restaurant owner, for example, should respond to a negative comment by saying, “‘We want to make this right’ and offer the person a coupon or something like that,” advises Andrea Vahl, a social media coach for businesses. Look for opportunities to be appreciative, too. When Vahl stumbled across a positive mention of her name on a site, she jumped into the conversation. “I commented on that forum thread and said, ‘Thanks for the shout-out, and let me give you some more insight,’” she says, noting that doing so could catch the attention of potential customers.
4. Don’t spend too much time eavesdropping. You have more important things to do (like run a business) than troll for mentions about your company. Schedule a regular time once a week for social media monitoring, such as Monday mornings, Vahl suggests. Chime in when a response could preserve your company’s reputation or showcase its offerings. “It’s important to respond; it shows you are proactive,”
Sarah Johnson is a business writer and editorial consultant. Her work has appeared in CFO and CIO magazines.
Adding relevant videos to your company website can attract viewers, who may go on to browse the site and buy your products. The use of content has become one of the fastest growing marketing strategies, according to Curata.
Content marketing can be defined as providing information that is of value to potential customers via media such as blogs, podcasts or videos. It is not about selling, but helping. The rise of content marketing is partly a response to growing consumer apathy towards advertising. When people use the internet they’re usually not looking to be sold to, but to be informed or entertained. Increasing the chances of making a sale therefore involves satisfying those needs by providing advice. The advice given can be anything from help with deciding where to go on holiday or how to repair a dripping tap – tied in somehow with your product.
Build your credibility
Providing valuable content shows expertise to a potential customer and that reinforces confidence and trust. If the advice is really useful, it might even lead to a sense of gratitude.
It’s about adding value from the very first encounter with your website that can later lead to sales and recommendations. A great example of this is the online retailer of spare parts, eSpares.com. The site has a series of short videos showing how to fix home appliances, from changing a kitchen tap to replacing a washing machine door seal.
A potential customer watching those short videos is far more likely to buy those spare parts as they’ll be more confident about doing the work themselves and can save a fortune on a plumber.
Producing content that is valuable for your target market is very much a case of thinking about the problems, fears, desires and motivations of your customers. Material that addresses their concerns can come from your own expertise, or bringing into one place the information they need to solve a particular problem.
How you present your content is very much down to the way your audience likes to obtain information. If your business focuses on investment advice, written content such as blog posts and reports containing charts work well. However, if you’re in the fashion industry, visual content is likely to be far more important, such as providing photos and short videos on your website.
Good content is likely to be linked to from external sites, which can help you boost your traffic as well as please your customers. Google gives higher priority in its page rankings to sites that have quality content and it partly makes that judgment by the number of genuine links to it.
Make it social
With all your content, make sure that it is easy for others to share via social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
When your content is shared by others you are benefiting from one of the most powerful of all marketing tools – that of personal recommendation and endorsement. Increasingly, consumers are turning to their peers for advice to inform their purchasing decisions.
Encouraging visitors to sign up to a free newsletter is another way of staying in touch with potential customers.
The PR angle
If your content is newsworthy, such as giving insight into a new trend, it might have publicity value. Having a publication write about it can add enormous credibility to a small business. The best way to place a story is to find the most relevant publication and journalist. Then call them beforehand to gauge their interest. If they do publish make sure you link to their article from your website.
A strategy of regularly producing and distributing high-quality content should form an integral part of the marketing plan of any business. It’s a proven strategy for gaining recognition and building trust, which in turn leads to more business.
*A version of theis story fist appeared in The Guardian by Justin Pugsley
No matter the tools, the technology, or the platform, great content will always start conversations. There’s going to be a new social media platform next week (and the week after that), but the one fundamental thing used to start word of mouth is great content.
Here are some types your fans will show their friends:
1. Fun stuff
2. Training stuff
3. Timely stuff
4. Secret stuff
1. Fun stuff
Fun stuff is some of the most passed around content because, well, it’s fun — and you get extra points for something personalized, interactive, or engaging. How many times have you been sent a holiday eCard from Jib-Jab? The reason this stuff survives so long and continues to be shared: it’s a lot of fun.
2. Training stuff
Everyone has something they can teach someone — so why not share it? McCormick shares recipes, tips, and an “enspicelopedia” for using their herbs and spices and keeping them fresh. These are quick, casual, and easy to share. This kind of content is great for word of mouth because you can show off your expertise while giving your fans something that helps make them look smart to their friends.
3. Timely stuff
People love sharing content that talks about what’s already on their minds. For example, Austin’s Sugar Circus offered an End of the World deal on their cupcakes for December 21 when the Mayan Calendar was predicting our doom. They’re not the only ones. Etsy sent out an “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” email the same day featuring survival-themed products. That’s a fun and timely word of mouth topic. When will your customers be the most excited about your content? How can you make it fit what they’re already talking about?
4. Secret stuff
You probably do a lot of cool stuff behind the scenes that no one ever sees — this is content that people love to share. For example, every year the Vail Ski Patrol keeps the slopes safe by setting off controlled avalanches, and they make these simple videos of the process. To them, this is just annual maintenance, but to everyone else, this is a cool look behind the scenes — and something worth sharing with their friends.
This post originally appeared on wordofmouth.org.
Let’s dive into it:
•Video is social: Ever hear of a viral video? I’m not saying that every video created needs have this aspect to it, but overall video content is easily shared (especially emotional content).
•Video is engaging: Compared to text sites, websites with video have a lower bounce rate (59 percent compared to 87 percent) and a higher average time on site (5 minutes compared to 42 seconds).
•Videos are getting viewed: 83 percent of executives say they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.
•Video content is growing: 48 hours of video content uploaded every minute to YouTube in 2011 compared, to 35 hours in 2010 or eight hours in 2007.
•Video is accessible: With HTML 5, video can easily be viewed across all devices including iPad’s and iPhone’s.
•Video will generate better rankings: Forrester research has identified that web pages with video stand a 50 percent better chance than text pages alone of showing up on the first page of Google search results.
Where to place video content?
YouTube: YouTube is the biggest search engine outside of Google, with more than 3 billion daily views and approximately 48 hours of video content uploaded every minute YouTube is truly a heavy hitter with staggering traffic. The numbers don’t lie. Video content is growing and getting consumed. Getting your videos on YouTube is essential.
Your website: Outside of having videos on YouTube, videos should be posted on your website. Not only will this help rankings but video can also aide in conversion. A simple how-to or demonstration of a product can greatly enhance a user’s experience and entice them to purchase.
Make your video findable on YouTube
So, simply posting a video on YouTube and having it “findable” might seem a little overwhelming with the amount of content getting posted. However, optimizing a few key areas of your video will help in making it more search-friendly.
YouTube looks heavily into these areas when ranking videos:
1.Text in your titles, tags and descriptions. These should be keyword rich and content specific. YouTube offers a keyword discovery tool to help with keyword development.
2.Number of views and recent trending. YouTube considers a video “viewed” after eight seconds of run time, so make sure your video has enough pull to get past that mark. To look at how videos are trending, click the graph to the right of the views. Also keep in mind that a YouTube video viewed on a website will add to the view count.
This post, written by Jason Poulos, originally appeared on The Buzz Bin.
There are essentially two areas of discussion that dominate the conversation when it comes to online video. Both are tethered to the Mad Men world of “things we’ve always done.”
The first is pre-roll — putting spots in front of content. We focus on this because it’s what all the big agencies are set up to do and it’s where the dollars are.
The second is the creation of branded content. Another page from the history books. We did it with soap operas. Red Bull seems to have made it work. Let’s do it again. We focus on this because people who work in advertising all secretly wish we worked in Hollywood.
These are important opportunities for sure, but to limit our attention to them is myopic.
Advertising used to be about things like persuasion, perception, inspiration, desire. It was Bill Bernbach who said “It’s not the numbers of ads you serve, it’s the impression you make. Today, the word “impression” has a whole new meaning, and advertising is about spreadsheets and quantifiable ROI.
It can be about both. It should be about both. Online video can bridge that gap.
Marketers should be thoughtful about considering every opportunity that digital video presents. Here are a few:
Google is a zillion-dollar business because they stumbled upon something powerful in the marketing funnel — intent. When people want something, they search for it.
Rapidly, video is becoming a more and more critical part of that search. This summer, I decided to put my BBQ skills to the test and figure out how to make a brisket. It didn’t even occur to me to read a recipe. I went straight to YouTube to learn how. I went through dozens of crappy home videos before I finally found a good one.
Shame on Kingsford Charcoal for not making sure I discovered a quality, search engine optimized video they produced. That’s a big missed opportunity.
What are your customers looking for? Make sure you help them discover it.
Often, brands will put budget into high production value for spots, but treat video created for their own website like a Cinderella stepchild. The thinking is that less people will see it, so let’s spend less producing it.
That’s silly. Sure, the audience that will see them is smaller, but certainly they are not less important. These are the people raising their hands, clicking their mouses and saying, “Yes, I want a deeper relationship with your brand.”
No one is saying you should run out and try to create the next Bud TV. You don’t need to become a TV station.
I’m talking a great opportunity to tell a deeper story to the right audience. Why skimp there?
One big trend in that the VC community is buzzing about today is “Native Monetization.” Sponsored Stories on Facebook is an example of an ad that is “native” to its platforms. Now, all manner of content providers are devising ways to integrate brand content — particularly video — into their actual content. This can be highly effective.
When Buzzfeed readers checked out a piece of content called “This is how you get on Santa’s Naughty List” last Christmas, they got to see a cute video from FootLocker about a teenager holding a reindeer hostage to get Santa to get him new sneakers. Like most Buzzfeed content, it’s designed to put a smirk on your face. And it does the job.
One of the most compelling opportunities open to brands today is to delight or create value for consumers through digital experiences. Video can be integrated into those experiences to make them more powerful, more compelling and yes, more engaging to your customers.
We created a campaign for Adobe called “Real or Fake?” that challenged players to guess whether a series of images were real or faked with Adobe tools. We used AfterEffects to create a video of a ballerina dancing on top of the Roosevelt Island Tram. After guessing if it was real or fake (it was fake), 50% of people who played the game and checked out a tutorial on how they could do it themselves.
(Source: Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction, a San Fancisco interactive agency, Advertising Age, 11/01/12)
Aberdeen Research cunducted a survey of more than 100 sales and marketing professionals about the use of video and rich media in their marketing efforts. The research provided that many marketers are successfully capitalizing on the power of video. According to Aberdeen, the ones that are leading the way in engaging with consumers, building brand loyalty and driving conversions all have one thing in common — they are more likely to use video in their content marketing efforts.
The research proves that these best-in-class organizations are using video to communicate with customers and prospects at every stage of the buyer journey. These organizations are:
- 38% more likely than all other companies to use video in their external communications.
- Outperforming the rest of the market 2:1 when it comes to website conversion rates.
- 30% more likely to have professional grade in-house video production capabilities.
- 33% more likely to have a solid plan for reaching devices and social destinations.
- Twice as likely to leverage big data and video analytics data to measure the performance of their content.
- Five times more likely to use an online video management platform.
Marketers of all sizes are faced with a variety of challenges in reaching their audience across an ever-changing, and increasingly noisy, landscape of social channels, devices and screens. Is your organization achieving success with video and driving engagement, brand loyalty and conversions?
Sometimes you want people talking about you every day. Sometimes, you need them to talk about you every so often — once a month, once a year, or when someone asks.
You want your customers to remember your name for a long time. When a friend asks where to go, you want that customer to have your name top of mind, even if they were involved with your business years ago.
Quality Carpet One in Northern Virginia does a great job of this by giving customers a gift bag full of things that they will keep and display. (And everything has a logo, of course.) You’ll put the thermometer on the wall and the emergency contact list on your fridge. Add social media to the mix and their business will stay top of mind.
Do the promotional materials you give out and social media relationships you create stick around long enough to generate a referral?
The summer is almost a memory and everyone knows that the warm months go hand-in-hand with prime vacation season. It’s only natural to want to preserve those memories to share with our friends and family, but let’s face it; sometimes our vacay recaps can turn into a bit of a snoozefest.
Now that it’s time to compile all of that great footage don’t worry, here 6 tips to help guide you on your path to vacation video perfection. When it is time to edit and produce your videos contact Glen Stacey Media to save you time and make summer vacation magic.
1. Let the location speak for itself!
Show, don’t tell. Think of the setting as one of the subjects of your video. You can still be the star, but let the scene have it’s camera time, too.
2. Show us your friends.
Video allows for candid moments. Try to capture your fellow travelers being themselves as opposed to herding them in front of notable landmarks and forcing them to say “Cheese!”.
3. Think in shots.
It’s easy to get carried away and film everything you see, but this can make editing a bit of a headache. Have the final video in mind when you’re shooting, and be selective. Try to shoot clips that vary in length. It’s hard to edit down really long clips.
4. Document the “moments” you want to remember.
Sometimes little things like a bottle of beer sweating in the sun can bring back the strongest memories. Try to notice the little things and give those moments some time in your video. If you watch a performance, there’s no need to document the whole thing, just show a moment from it, and that’s all you need. Think of your video as a highlight reel!
5. If you’re having fun, chances are it’s going to be fun to watch!
If you’re having a blast on your vacation, taking some video while you’re in the midst of your happiness will preserve that time for the future! Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to let one of your trusted travel companions to take some video of you, too.
6. Don’t just think video; use your photos in your video as well.
Photos with your video will show those great shots and special times that may have happened when your video camera wasn’t rolling.
For more tips and ideas contact Glen Stacey Media
Many companies just don’t get it and leave their all important social media communication to an intern.
Community management is increasingly important, but brands rarely provide an adequate budget for this position. It is essential that the person who takes the floor for your brand is passionate and knowledgeable, is a gifted communicator, can navigate company politics, knows the industry, knows the company, can answer questions authoritatively, and has access to decision-makers.
Does this job description make you think of a student who has a Facebook account and has used Twitter once or twice? It is a position that takes time to master, because you must be present for some period of time to learn the community. Clearly, this is not a job for an intern.
A version of this story first appeared on Grow
95% of Facebook wall posts are not answered by brands/companies. Don’t be one of those brands.
52% of consumers have stopped following a brand on Facebook because the information it posted had become “too repetitive and boring.” (Before you post ask yourself: Is the post for my benefit and about me, or for the benefit of my customers and about them?)
Millions of web site owners today are turning to video to enhance their online marketing strategies. It’s what the people are asking for, so companies are responding to the demand by offering video on their web pages.
Here area few facts every business owner should know:
• 66% of online adults (your customers) use platforms such as Facebook, You Tube and Twitter*.
•71% of online adults use video sharing sites like You Tube and Vimeo*.
Video is quickly changing the way web marketing works and there are plenty of ways video can help boost your brand.
Videos reach out to a wider audience than text. They have no linguistic challenges. Given a choice, most customers would want to watch a 30 second video about a product rather than view a handful of pages of the product’s documentation. Therefore, video marketing is time-effective.
What’s more, video marketing is cost-effective and no matter what your budget is, it’s not too expensive to launch a video marketing campaign.
How to do it right?
A successful Video Marketing requires a well-planned strategy and an equally good execution. You may have a great video but if you goof-up on your marketing strategy, it will not have the desired impact. Here are some important tips for effective video marketing.
1) Make sure your video uses the right keywords and is tagged appropriately.
2) Ensure that your videos have a high resolution and good clarity, lighting and audio. It makes no sense to publish a video which is hardly viewable.
3) If you are developing a video which showcases your product, it is advisable to have screenshots or live demonstrations as part of your video marketing campaign.
4) Once your video is published, make sure to spread the word about it on other social networks as well. YouTube offers a cool video embed feature which actually lets other sites play your video directly from YouTube without having the user leave their current web page.
A version of this story first appeared on http://smedio.com
The next time a great idea you really believe in gets rejected; don’t give up and remember these predictions.
“But what…is it good for?” — Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” – Western Union internal memo (1876).
“I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers.” – IBM chairman Thomas Watson (1943).
“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first 6 months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox (1946).
“The wireless music box (radio) has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” – Associates of David Sarnoff responding to his call for investment in the radio (1921).
“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” — H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.
How many products can you name from the slogan?
1 “Think Different.”
2 “Life’s a sport — Drink it up”
3 “Solutions For A Small Planet”
4 “Look, Ma, no cavities!”
5 “When it rains, it pours!”
6 “The dog kids love to bite.”
7 “Number One in people pleasin”
8 “We try harder.”
1(Apple Macintosh) 2(Gatorade) 3(IBM) 4(Crest) 5(Morton Salt)
6(Armour Hot Dogs) 7(Holiday Inn) 8 (Avis Rent A Car)
Glen Stacey Media creates a wide variety of video presentations for a variety of events. Weddings are one of projects we have the most fun working on. It’s an exciting time and with a little creativity you can create a presentation the will be a memorable part of the entire day. Here are a few tips to think about to create an amazing wedding slideshow.
- Select photos of both families – from baby photos to current ones, photos of you as a couple and throw some in of the wedding party or close friends.
- Be sure to add not only your cute baby photos but add some of those awkward pre-teen and teen shots – those always get a lot of laughs.
- Select a few medium-paced to fast-paced songs. Glen Stacey Media can edit the songs you choose to make them fit your pictures and presentation.
- Use video clips. If you don’t have some from the past, record some the next time you are with the couple at a family gathering or out on the town. Just a few clips of video will add to the total presentation.
- Add video of the bride and groom talking about how they met or what they like most about one another. This will make the presentation more personal and guests always will like to hear how the couple met or how he proposed.
A version of this story first appeared onPhotoBookGirl.com