Let’s take a minute and think about the video ads you’ve seen recently. Whether you get most of your video content on Facebook or YouTube, it’s safe to assume that most of the video ads you’ve seen represent huge brands.
You can think about that from two different angles.
First, those big companies are winning this “king of the hill” battle for ad space because they have the budget for it. Second, they are fighting for that ad space because it’s so valuable.
Small businesses can learn a lot from international corporations. Of course, you won’t be able to replicate their marketing strategies. (Production value and market penetration are often locked behind budget limitations.) But what you can do is look for ways to scale down their strategies, fine tune a few of the details, and then turn it into a resource that does fit your unique company.
Video marketing is one of the areas where you can still receive the benefits without trying to match the budget of Apple, Google, or Coca-Cola.
And since video marketing generates 66% more qualified leads (as well as a 54% increase in brand awareness), you really can’t afford to not take advantage of this channel — especially as a small business.
A Value Proposition For Video Ads
At face value, it’s easy to be intimidated by the thought of video creation. You can watch top ads from last year and get caught up in the famous actors, the expensive equipment, and the need for a full production team. But all of those things are completely scalable to your budget.
Making good video content means taking advantage of the tools available to small businesses. That might mean using an online resource (like a shot list template) instead of hiring a production assistant. Or maybe you use an online video editing site to avoid paying for high-end software.
These sort of tools can help you get that big-budget feel without, you know, a big budget. Because the truth is that video content is in high demand, no matter your industry.
Let’s look at four video marketing-centric stats from HubSpot:
- People spend one-third of their “online time” watching video content.
- Two-thirds of people are more likely to buy something after seeing a video about it.
- 90% of customers list product videos as a major influencer in their buying habits.
- One-third of all online ad spend goes toward video ads.
Those numbers build up a pretty clear narrative. People watch a lot of video content. And the videos they watch play a major role in the sort of products they buy and businesses they support. As a result, a big chunk of the global advertising budget goes toward video ads.
And really, that value proposition really solidifies the worth of video marketing for your business.
Building A Video Marketing Strategy
Now that you can see just how valuable video marketing is, the next step is figuring out how to fit that into your existing strategy for 2021 and beyond.
A huge part of that is understanding what goes into video production and how you can streamline and simplify that process. Which means looking for affordable (and often multi-purpose) online apps or services that will make video marketing a realistic goal for your business.
Thankfully, you can recycle a lot of the research you’ve put into your existing marketing strategies. Video content may need extra resources or tools, but your grasp of your audience and target keywords can — and should — influence the sort of videos you create.
- Start by setting goals. Are you interested in building a video channel (either on YouTube or Facebook) that generates brand awareness? Is your main focus a series of videos for an upcoming product launch? Do you want to increase web traffic through paid video ads? These are the sort of things you’ll have to ask because they will determine your video marketing strategy.
- Think about your presentation. When we hear “presentation” in terms of video, our minds jump to camera angles or animations or even color choices. But marketing videos take many different shapes, and each presentation style has some inherent qualities. (Whiteboard videos work best for educational content, interview videos are great for testimonial content, and so on.) Take that into consideration when you build your strategy in order to remain efficient.
- Build content within your sales funnel. You could dedicate half of your marketing budget to video content and fail if those videos don’t have a clear focus/objective. Like with any new project, think about which segment of your audience you want to reach and how the videos can best encourage them to take action.
- Keep your platform in mind. Viewers expect different things on different channels. A YouTube video looks different than an Instagram video, and your audience will expect you to follow those standards. (That can also determine how visible your videos are on those platforms!)
As you begin to explore different video styles and build out a video marketing calendar, always remember that there is a lot of flexibility in video. You should be testing content to see what works, and using that information to shape future projects.
Maybe you want to create a channel where you share stories from inside the company, introducing employees to customers and building relationships with the audience. You can pair that with how-to videos where those “familiar faces” become educators, leveraging that familiarity to establish trust with customers.
This is where video marketing gets exciting. You get to find a sweet spot for your business, that balance between engaging content (that attracts new leads) and educational content (that supports your existing customers).
Once you create a pipeline for video content, you can start thinking about topics like YouTube SEO, video ads on social media, and other avenues for future opportunities. And all of those benefits can support the targets your business is already chasing, like Google search rankings and higher website conversions.
Yes, video marketing is a powerful tool, with untapped potential that only expands over time. But it’s also a gateway to a lot of other things, from connecting with your audience to exploring new corners of your existing industry.
At the end of the day, that makes video marketing an invaluable tool for small businesses, no matter your budget, team size, or production skills.
Drew Gula is the copywriter at Soundstripe, a royalty free company that provides creators and businesses with radio-quality uncopyrighted music.
Online reputation management (ORM) is a concern for any business with a growing online presence. Digital marketing requires constant effort. Managing negative publicity is just another part of the puzzle.
Despite the best intentions and all the SEO know-how in the world, your brand could be suffering from negative publicity. You may stumble upon a negative review or a complaint which you need to manage to avert long-term damage.
Let’s explore how you can detect, prevent, and take action against brand-harm.
Online Reputation Management – Prevention is Better Than Cure
While not all-encompassing, preventing negative publicity should be your first order of business.
Businesses with noble intentions and good ethics will mitigate most damage. The key is keeping track of information given by the company. Make sure it’s factual. Make sure to keep tabs on staff and how they conduct themselves online and respond to queries in a timeous fashion.
How to Detect Reputational Damage
Apart from social media, you can set up Google Alerts for brand-specific keywords or keyphrases. Google will alert you daily of any new content that pops up online mentioning your brand.
This way, you’re sure to be kept abreast of other people mentioning your brand online.
Of course, you want to keep an eye on all the major social media channels and hashtags or @mentions.
Not only are these good ways to detect reputational damage, but they can help you engage with your customers. You’ll also be able to see good things written about your business or brand. It’s much better than Googling your keyword every once in a while.
It may even help you present new solutions to existing problems.
Tools you can use to monitor your online presence include:
- Go Fish Digital Complaint Search
- SEO Spyglass
Furthermore, there are tools to outsource or automate social media monitoring:
- Meltwater Buzz
- Sysomos Heartbeat
If you follow this procedure religiously, it’s unlikely something will slip under the radar.
Taking Action Against Negative Publicity
Once you’ve identified anything that causes your business or brand reputational harm, it’s time to take action.
Some things to look out for could be defamation, fake news, brand abuse, or abuse of trademarks or copyrights. Should you find any of these on a web page, you may attempt to have it removed.
While it may not be easy to have a page removed without concrete evidence of incorrect information, you can attempt removal based on the following:
- Laws (both local and international)
- ISP terms
- Search engine terms and quality guidelines
You may need to look at precedent as well and the author of the content’s motivations. Businesses have legal avenues to pursue in case of libel, such as consulting an experienced defamation lawyer.
Sometimes it’s better to try and bury the defamatory content by creating pages that rank higher for the search term.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) can be used to file what is known as a DMCA take-down. It’s one avenue a business can use to fight copyright infringement by sending a notice to the web host or ISP.
If the DMCA notice doesn’t work, the company has other legal resources to consider. The appropriate action will depend on the laws of the land and may require expert help.
While online reputation management can be a chore, it shouldn’t be if your business is proactive and conducts itself with good ethics.
Check out the rest of our blog for more pro tips.
Keywords are the key to increasing traffic to your website and improving your SEO ranking. If you don’t include terms that people are using in their searches, then no one will visit your website. Keyword research is a key component of any successful content marketing strategy. Here’s a quick guide on keywords and SEO.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are terms people commonly type into search engines like Google. Using keywords is a clever digital marketing strategy because it can lead to increased website engagement, more time spent on your website and sales leads.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research involves researching the words that potential consumers and customers are going to use when they use search engines. This also means that you need to compare and choose the best keywords to use. Keyword research ensures that your content is relevant and marketable.
How To Do Keyword Research
Firstly, you need to identify the seed keywords of your content. You can do this by using keyword tools. For example, Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword tool and it can be used for both advertising and SEO. You can also identify keywords by thinking about what potential customers would type into Google when searching for your product or service. Secondly, you need to investigate what keywords your competitors rank for. You can do this by typing in your list of seed keywords into Google and checking who ranks on the front page. If you don’t know who your competitors are, then a bit of market research is needed before doing this. Next, you need to know your target market – their problems and questions. Industry forums, groups and Q&A sites are good places to look, as potential customers usually express their concerns and questions on these platforms. Your customers offer great insight into what specific keywords you need to include. Here are other ways to determine keywords:
- Chat with your customers face to face
- Go through past emails with customers and look for commonly used words
- Look through customer support tickets
- Think about the questions that were asked in past conversations
So there you have it – a complete guide on how to do keyword research to improve your SEO ranking. It’s never too late to do your research, so start today!
The change in lifestyle brought about by COVID-19 has highlighted the need for SEO services more than ever. Even demographics who would previously not have been big e-commerce shoppers have been persuaded to go online as the pandemic has kept them indoors. This makes logical sense, and the stats prove it:
- Compared to the same period last year, U.S. e-commerce sales in July increased a whopping 55%.
- As a total of retail sales in the U.S., e-commerce more than doubled from Q1 2020 to Q2. “That’s over a decade of growth in the space of just a few months as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
- Year on year, Amazon sales rose by 40% for Q2 2020 to $88.9 billion.
SEO and PPC tips for e-commerce success
1. Create a strategy for SEO and PPC synergy
Google Shopping has reintroduced free listings that are generated by the Google Merchant Center. Maximize your holiday shopping campaign by aligning your organic search (SEO) and paid search (PPC).
Use your PPC spend to target high-value queries on channels where paid listings lead the results.
Seek out opportunities to use SEO to rank for searches that attract a high click-through rate.
2. Analyze Search Trends
Take note of the top search queries in your category. Utilize the results to keep SEO core to your strategy, influence your marketing messaging, and inspire your paid search.
3. Plug Fresh Content
Use SEO analysis as a guideline to create current, pandemic-related content that develops trust with your readers by showing your understanding and support.
PPC can then be used to attract some immediate traffic and fill in any gaps. The best part? Informational queries are generally cheaper per click – extending your budget.
4. Test with PPC
Paid search provides feedback on what type of message and imagery works best – almost immediately. Use PPC to test various new ideas and tweak your SEO accordingly.
5. Lengthen Your Marketing Funnel
The more familiar people are becoming with using search engines, the more diverse their reasons for doing so.
Take time to nurture prospects during the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey using an appropriate blend of SEO and PPC efforts.
6. Draw your audience a picture
As part of your search plan, make sure to include images and videos to keep up with the increasingly visual nature of Google. Keep your visual content consistent in SEO and PPC.
7. Leverage Ad Extensions
Take advantage of callouts, structured snippets, and other ad extensions – such as Google’s beta “Curbside pickup” badge – to share extra information about your products and services.
8. Add to Google
As Amazon and Walmart’s advertising improves, you may want to spread your e-commerce budget across all retailers and search engines – adjusting as their ROI becomes evident.
9. Avoid Google
Consider how you can optimize your PPC spend and SEO efforts with alternatives to Google. Specialist search engines are slightly less competitive as they already have built-in customer intent. Video search engines are increasingly gaining popularity – an exciting way to showcase what you have to offer.
10. Make the Most of Automation
Wouldn’t it be awesome to get real-time insights in the face of such an unsure time? Automated rules and AI smart bidding for PPC does just that with a flexible solution to boost your SEO and PPC strategy.
If you are looking for a holistic approach to increase online leads and sales, WSI OMS can help. Contact us for more information today.
Building good links is not easy, but definitely still worthwhile. We all remember the days before Google started to clamp down on link building in 2012, when generating traffic off other websites could be done without too much effort. But being in an era where customers are sensitive to brand endorsement, link building is now more vital than ever before and certainly not dead.
Why link building still matters
Link building is still crucial to any SEO strategy. If you want to create valuable backlinks, white hat SEO is the way to go. You will rank higher on SERPs if you curate backlinks from sites that are considered to be credible, as domain authority is vital to ranking in Google’s algorithm.
Social media marketing has become a mecca for link building, as one influential person sharing your content could lead to thousands of impressions and traffic. But you’ll strike the jackpot if you’re getting that content published or mentioned in other articles – because just like that, you have the potential of creating a valuable backlink to your site. If you’re generating highly engaging content or speaking to your identified audience, thousands of people could be sharing your links, and in turn, be doing the link building for you.
When it comes to content marketing, always ask yourself what you can do to be different or better. Hundreds of people could already have created content on your topic, so look at theirs and improve on it. By being better and different in your approach, your content will be considered to be fresh and more likely to be picked up when pitching your ideas. You can create and achieve backlinks through simple (albeit somewhat time-consuming) tactics, such as manual outreach to others in your industry to see whether they would want to feature your content, or by being a guest on a podcast, or even by getting in touch with website owners with broken links.
If you want more advice from a digital marketing agency on effective link building strategies, contact WSI OMS today.