Monday, 20 June 2016

Guest Post: 4 Tips to Be Successful on YouTube

If you want to be successful on YouTube there are some key features that you should know about.
1. You Have to Find the Right Topic for your Video
If you want to be successful on YouTube, or for your videos to be successful, you have to first find the right topic for them. To do so, you can use a software or browser add-on called TubeBuddy. It offers you a large variety of features, but the most important is the "Tag Explorer".
Using the Tag Explorer, you can find keywords that are worthwhile to target, and are successful on YouTube. It will show you the search volume and the competition of a certain keyword. Now, you just have to find a keyword with very low competition and a high search volume. Of course these keywords are rare, but spend some time searching for them. Now that you found a good keyword to target on, you have a topic for your video.
2. You Have to Create the Video
If you create the video, make sure it is quality. Find a good editing program and cut out extraneous parts. This way your viewers will have more fun watching the video. Otherwise, they will most likely not subscribe to you and will switch to another video.
3. Publish your Video
If you publish your video to YouTube you can also do a lot of things to make your video rank better. First of all, put all your keywords into the title. This will result in YouTube knowing what your video is about, and help your ranking. Last but not least, create a cool and catching thumbnail that invites people to click on your video. Your thumbnail should also be named like one of your keywords.
4. Make People Interact with your Video and Promote your Video
If your video is already on YouTube, you can still make people interact with your video and promote it. To do so, simply add infocards or annotations that link to another one of your videos, ask your viewers to like your video, and ask them to subscribe to you and comment. This isn't annoying for the viewers, but gives them more interaction with the video. Interaction is important if you want to be successful on YouTube. If you want to promote your video, you can also use social media to tell your followers that you've published a new video.
Using these tips, you can easily improve your YouTube ranking.

Written by Gradezone of www.success4yt.com

Guest Post: 6 Essential PR Lessons For Every Content Marketer

PR is still one of the most effective marketing strategies. In fact, there is evidence that utilizing PR as part of your overall marketing strategy promises greater returns than ignoring it completely. For content marketers who feel that PR could add substance to their campaigns, here are some great tips. 

1. Understand What PR is and What it is NOT

PR stands for Public Relations.  Essentially, it means getting press. In the past, this would involve getting your products reviewed by journalists in articles, industry publications and so on. A lot has changed over the years but PR remains rather the same. PR efforts are still focused on getting a brand in front of the right audiences, at the right time, with the right messages.
PR is NOT advertising. You shouldn’t confuse the two. In advertising, you pay to place media (whether an article, a video, or an audio clip) on a particular site. That’s not how PR works. PR is also NOT guest-posting. Unlike guest posting, PR doesn’t involve a member of your company writing posts for high-profile publications. Lastly, PR isn’t content marketing. Although there are areas where the two overlap, that doesn’t imply that they are the same.

2. Appreciate the Digital Influence on PR

PR keeps evolving in a bid to keep up with the times. Today, journalists and PR professionals connect in a very different way. The days of simply hustling on the phone are long gone. With more communications platforms available to them including social media and instant messaging, today’s PR guys are even better equipped at their job.
The other main difference between being a PR person today and being one in the 90s is that today’s PR guys have to work a lot harder to cut across the noise on the internet. More than half of sales communications now happen online. And most of these communications are initiated not by PR guys but by the consumers themselves. Online peer-to-peer influence is so huge that most consumers are now ignoring professional PR and choosing to make purchase decisions based on the advice of their family and close friends. It’s a tough time for PR! Kissmetrics discusses several other ways that the digital consumerism has impacted public relations.

3. Connect the Dots Between Content Marketing and PR

As we have already mentioned, content marketing and PR aren’t completely separate entities. The two can co-exist and actually do co-exist at certain levels. For example, PR still requires content creation and today when you talk about content creation then people will assume that you’re talking about content marketing.
The point is that PR and content marketing still need each other. With the advent of the internet, competition for attention has become even stiffer. Thousands of companies in the same industries are looking to get attention of the same consumers. Yet, this comes at a time when research shows that our attention spans are shrinking. But you still need to stand tall among the rest if your message is to be heard.
The trick therefore is to create good content (content marketing) and get some “known” guys to put it in front of your audience (PR).

4. Learn How Best to Integrate PR and Content Marketing

Integrating content marketing and PR shouldn’t be difficult. You already know that you need excellent content and a solid PR campaign. The main target should be getting people (your target audience) hooked to your stories not just today but for a long time to come. So, use content marketing to create your own stories and PR pros to help you build relationships.
An alternative way to look at PR professionals is as growth hackers. Growth hackers are experts who have a better understanding of the industry as well as both the expertise and experience to get in there and get attention. What content marketers need to do is to take more control of the stories that go out to the PR guys. By taking more control of your stories, it becomes easier to take your brand in the direction that you want.
Meanwhile, PR would now be left with the job they know how to do best – building relationships.

5. Bring a Personal Touch to Your Overall Marketing

You could say that the world has changed and that the digital revolution has made people fonder of their mobile devices than their closest friends. But the bottom line, wherever you look, is that people still need that personal experience. This is one reason content marketers need to take a little more control of their marketing stories – because every time your content is published out there, you want to connect with your audience in the most personal way possible.
Content marketing dictates that you start by drawing up buyer personas which are brief descriptions of your ideal customer. With a buyer persona, it becomes easier to find a voice that would best get through to you consumers.
Apart from that, Acumen Social recommends addressing your audience, not as “Dear Sir or Dear Madam,” but with their names. You don’t email your friends and colleagues that way. Rather, you’re more likely to say; “Hi James” or How’s the going Anne.”

6. Get the Best PR Pros You Can Find

When you’ve chosen to integrate PR into your marketing, you need to start looking for the right PR Company to hold your hand through the journey.
The Acumen Social post linked above provides some useful tips when selecting a PR pro. They recommend checking these people’s “About Us” and “Contact Me” pages to learn more about their expertise and work experience. You are then advised to build a list of the most relevant PR pros in Google Docs with the following information; a link to their recent coverage, context from social media profiles (preferably Twitter and Facebook), a link to their Twitter handle, and their contact information (including email address and phone numbers).
Kissmetrics stresses the need to hire a professional who can provide you with instant access to a specific audience. Without these professionals, getting attention in some markets may be very difficult. Start by using social media to discover influencers in your industry, study the type of content they share, assess the types of consumers they connect with, and when the time is right, touch base with the company.
By starting early, working hard, and seeking the help of professionals wherever you get stuck, you’ll find yourself climbing up the ladder one step after another and eventually be able to taste what PR + content marketing can do to a brand.

Summary

One of the main differences between being a PR person today and being one in the 90s is that today's PR guys have to work a lot harder to cut across the noise on the Internet.
Connect the dots between content marketing and PR. For example, PR still requires content creation and today when you talk about content creation then people will assume that you're talking about content marketing. Integrating content marketing and PR shouldn't be difficult.
So, use content marketing to create your own stories and PR pros to help you build relationships. What content marketers need to do is to take more control of the stories that go out to the PR guys.
This is one reason content marketers need to take a little more control of their marketing stories because every time your content is published out there, you want to connect with your audience in the most personal way possible. 
When you've chosen to integrate PR into your marketing, you need to start looking for the right PR Company to hold your hand through the journey. 
By starting early, working hard, and seeking the help of professionals wherever you get stuck, you'll find yourself climbing up the ladder one step after another and eventually be able to taste what PR + content marketing can do to a brand.

Written by Vladimir Nagin of www.leadupmarketers.com
Entrepreneur | CEO | Inbound Marketing Expert | B2B Marketing

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Want to See Your Ads on Major Online News Networks for Free? Read This.


BoostSuite is offering small business marketers a fantastic opportunity to display their ads across major online news networks, high profile blogs and specialist sites, absolutely free.

BoostSuite harnesses the power of remarketing technology, previously only available to major online brands, to enable small and medium-sized business to position their ads on sites like CNN, ESPN and many, many more.


How Does It Work?

Remarketing is a fantastic way for online marketers to keep their potential customers engaged with their brand after they have left their website. 


The principal of remarketing is simple - a potential customer visits your website but leaves without making a purchase, your advertising then follows your visitor around the web (appearing on a wide range of highly visible sites), encouraging repeat visits and potential purchases.

Remarketing works incredibly well for websites that already command high volumes of visitors but for smaller businesses with less traffic, it’s not really viable. 

It’s a simple equation really: Limited traffic = limited remarketing opportunities. 


BoostSuite Rewrites the Rules

BoostSuite enables marketers to partner with like-minded organizations and build a shared pool of traffic which can be used to power incredibly targeted remarketing campaigns.



For example, a wedding dress boutique might partner with a jewellery store, a photographer, a wedding venue, a travel agent and caterers to build a highly focused but non-competitive network. Subsequent visits to any of the partner websites would then generate remarketing opportunities across a wide range of sites (including major news networks like CNN) for all members of the group. This essentially creates remarketing opportunities to attract visitors who may never have previously heard of your organization.


How Do I Start?

BoostSuite is offering marketers the opportunity to try their new remarketing service for free. The free service enables marketers to show their ads to up to 500 people per month. Registration is simple and no credit card is required.

The free service also enables users to share their blog content with like-minded sites, helping to drive organic reach and win new customers.

For more information visit: www.boostsuite.com

Photo: Josh Hallett 

Becoming THE Expert is an affiliate marketing partner of BoostSuite.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Has LinkedIn Become Facebook? Only When You Let It.

Have you ever stood in a crowded room with someone who is trying to create a little hush so he or she can share an important piece of information? Perhaps he or she wanted to start a speech at a wedding, share an announcement at a party or deliver a presentation at a networking event. There are always people who insist on continuing to talk long after they have heard an initial request for silence.

And then it starts.

People in the crowd start demanding silence by delivering abrupt requests to “ssshhh,” “be quiet” or (and this is just plain rude) “shut up.” Before you know it, the sound generated by the well-meaning “ssshhh” mob becomes louder than the sound of the people who refuse to be quiet. Under the shelter of this new cacophony of noise, other people take the opportunity to restart their conversations, and the room gets even noisier.

Social Noise

LinkedIn, the business-friendly social network, is currently receiving a lot of criticism for the number of “Facebook-style” posts being posted to its users’ feeds. You know the sort of thing – links that suggest “if you can solve this math puzzle, you’re a genius” or clickbait that promises “to blow your mind.” And don’t get me started on the motivational memes inviting you to “climb success mountain” that should have been assigned to the trash when they were taken down from the walls of boiler house sales departments in the 1980s.

However, in my opinion, there’s one thing worse than the noise of pointless, non-business-related posts on LinkedIn, and that’s the comments about pointless posts on LinkedIn.

When you comment on a post on social media, it simply pours fuel on the original post, extending its reach and potentially polluting your own wider social network. In short, you are adding to the noise, just like the well-meaning noise-dampers who hiss “ssshhh” at a social event.

If you want LinkedIn (or any other social network) to retain its professional integrity, instead of shouting, “Keep these Facebook posts off LinkedIn,” you can do one of two things:


  • Ignore anything that’s not relevant to your business (in the same way you would ignore poorly targeted sales pitches and other everyday office distractions).
  • Unfollow anyone who doesn’t play by your rules or add value to your experience (in the same way you would unsubscribe from unwanted email marketing campaigns).

Business networks, like email lists, need nurturing – and occasionally cleansing.

Manage your networks effectively, and you’ll cut out the bulk of any unwanted noise. Remember, it’s the quality of your connections that counts, so don’t be afraid to cut out any deadwood.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Photo: Sheila Scarborough

Friday, 13 May 2016

Are You a Content Rocker or a Content Blocker?

As I tour the country (and further afield) with my Content Marketing Boot Camp, I meet a lot of highly frustrated marketers. They are generally an unhappy lot because YOU don’t trust them and as a result they are failing in their role.
I struggle to comprehend why any organization would invest in a talented, creative and hungry marketing team and then block their every move by insisting a senior member of the team (outside of marketing) approves and even edits any content before it leaves the confines of the office.
Why You Shouldn’t Get In The Way of Your Marketing Team
  • Managing Director/CEO – Have you got the time to think about every single blog post, email marketing campaign or social media comment? No I didn’t think so. If you insist on signing off every single piece of content before it is released, or worse still – insist on making changes to the copy because it doesn’t sound like something YOU would say, then YOU are the reason why your campaigns are being delayed and ultimately failing.
  • Sales Directors/Managers – Great salespeople generally do not make great marketers. Whenever I see a lengthy, intrusive form on a website (asking for everything from company size and turnover to whether or not the person completing the form out is going to make a buying decision in the next 30 days), I know that a salesperson is behind it. Make no mistake – these long forms will prevent just as many hot prospects from completing them correctly as tire kickers. Marketing is not just about creating quick wins for a hungry sales department focused on closing deals before the quarter is out. It’s about positioning, brand, reputation and building long term relationships with prospects and influencers. Yes – marketing needs to feed sales but it is not the be-all and end-all.
  • IT/MIS Directors/Managers – Although a large percentage of marketing now takes place online, this does not mean that IT/MIS should have any influence over the output of the marketing department other than providing them with the tools to do their job. I recently met a marketer who told me that she was unable to use Twitter (perhaps one of the most powerful tools available to marketers) because the IT Director had blocked it from the company network and had advised the wider Senior Leadership Team that he perceived it as a risk.
  • The Weekly Marketing Meeting – Nothing useful has ever been designed by a committee. When marketers are forced to share their entire strategies and accept input from non-marketers their campaigns become compromised. Great marketers are already good listeners – trust them to seek out the best solutions and don’t throw them to the lions to have their best ideas torn to shreds.
I understand that many business owners want to protect their businesses. But just as a parent wants to protect their offspring, they must learn to trust others if they want their offspring grow up to be healthy and happy. It’s time to give your marketers the freedom to succeed or fail. You hired them because you believe them to be smart, creative individuals. Let them prove this assumption to be true.
I once worked for an individual who claimed he gave his staff enough rope to hand themselves but in reality kept his marketers gagged and bound. If you have given them enough rope to hang themselves, you might be pleasantly surprised that they actually use it to rope in some new customers.
The next Content Marketing Boot Camp will be held in Nicosia, Cyprus on June 9, 2016.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Getting Your Email Marketing Subscribers to Act on Impulse

Because email is consumed by busy people, who are very often on the move, your campaigns need to pack a punch and make your subscribers act on impulse. If you cannot get a reaction to your campaigns within a couple of seconds, they will ultimately fail.

Following the three golden rules of email marketing (for which I make no apology for constantly repeating) – your campaigns must be relevant, timely and engaging – is a must for any marketer hoping to find success.

But if you truly want your subscribers to act on impulse and engage with your campaigns, perhaps you need to factor in a fourth golden rule: agility. In short, you need to occasionally supplement your planned and strategic campaigns with the occasional burst of impulse yourself.

This means mixing things up a bit. If an idea feels good, do it. If you think it’s too risky, test it first and then do it (testing is definitely something you should be doing). Email is not something that should always be run to a tightly managed schedule. It’s not limited by deadlines; it’s only limited by ideas.

When was the last time you did something on impulse? Share your comments below:

Photo: Jen Knoedl



Thursday, 5 May 2016

Six Things Small Business Marketers Should Be Doing on Twitter

Twitter, now in its tenth year, might be one of the more mature social networks out there, but that doesn’t mean small business marketers really get it. The fact is, Twitter is ripe with prime business opportunities, if you just know where to look. Following are six things marketers should do on Twitter every day to engage clients and prospects and win new business:


  1. Listen: Listening is a vital component of any conversation, and this is as true in the social-media environment as it is in the real world. Listening via the social Web can be as easy as entering a few choice keywords (e.g., your brand, your competitor’s brand, industry-specific phrases, geographic locations, etc.) into the search facility on Twitter. You might be surprised to discover how many people are actively asking questions about your line of business. Actively listen for these conversations, and you could soon be speaking to potential clients.
  2. Engage: Twitter isn’t a one-way broadcast channel. It’s called “social media” for a reason — so get social, and enjoy the conversation! Be prepared to get to know your prospects before going in for the hard sell. The online social environment (like any other real-world social environment) does not provide a quick and easy route to sales success. Online, just as off, people buy from people they like and trust — so take the time to build relationships before going for the kill.
  3. Follow: Take the time to follow Twitter accounts relevant to your business. These could be potential clients or high-profile industry influencers (e.g., journalists, bloggers, consultants, etc.). A few minutes a day spent following the right people will help you steadily build your following. Your competitors’ Twitter accounts are a good place to start mining for new connections.
  4. Share: Invest in great blog content, and share it widely. Remember: The average lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes, so be sure to share often to maximize your blog traffic. Twitter has the potential to drive significant, targeted traffic back to your website. Think of it as a vital component of a wider SEO strategy (without the weird science).
  5. Endorse: Your opinion isn’t the only valid message on social media. Connect with industry influencers and potential clients by endorsing their opinions with the occasional “like” and re-tweet.
  6. Cross-Pollinate: Socialize everything you do to promote your business and send campaigns viral. You can add Twitter “share” buttons to virtually everything you do online to promote your business, including blog content, email campaigns and digital downloads (such as whitepapers and ebooks). Remember, in a perfect world, you will have the same people following you on Twitter as you will have subscribed to your email marketing lists. Engage your followers with social media, and sell to them via email.

Let us know how you engage your audience via Twitter. Send us a tweet via @iContact.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Photo: Uncalno Tekno
 

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