Increase Traffic through Online Video Marketing

Here is a short 2 minutes video and a write-up on “Increase Traffic through Online Video Marketing”. See to yourself what you prefer- Reading or Hearing!! Your comments will be highly appreciated.

Video marketing has been gaining popularity as a tool in effectively increasing traffic to a website. Promoting a local business or a blog site through the use of a video has steadily gained weight in terms of traffic generation. People have found so many ways how to enhance the incoming traffic that will lead to a better business hence improve profitability.

As one may notice, Google and Yahoo’s search sites display not only images, articles, web content but also video content. Optimizing all the tools that can be used is a great way for you to clog traffic in your site.

Why Video Marketing?

Online videos have been some marketer’s preferred method to deliver their message across every prospective buyers or clients. Over the last few years, the emergence of videos as a marketing tool has proven its presence and effectiveness in driving visitors to a site. Here are the reasons why:

1. Larger Audience
People usually like to watch more than read. Most of us are visual learners by nature. In this argument, it can be concluded that you will likely to get more people to view your video content rather than read your article unless you have a very interesting and catchy blog or business write-up.

2. You Stimulate the Senses
Have you ever heard the song that says “If a picture paints a thousand words..”? How much more with a video? If still images can capture and bring out a thousand words then naturally videos can do more because you engage other senses and you can create live images.

3. Accessibility
Videos are now seen through different kind of devices such as iPod, laptop, cell phones, desktop. You can access it in your home, while on mobile, in the office or anywhere you are at any time you want it.
The amount of traffic that online videos can drive to your site is too significant to ignore. Yes, it is not a replacement to all the strategies or techniques you have been using but it is definitely worth adding it to your list. The next question you may have is how? Do you just create a video and upload it in YouTube? It may be that easy but to create a more meaningful, sensible and attractive video, follow these guides:

Guide number 1
When you create a video, start it right the first time. How? Use keywords in your title that will help viewers find your video posts. Just keep in mind how you would do it in your article or blog content only this time you are submitting a video content.

Popular online video directories would include YouTube, Blim.tv, Howcast, Photobucket, Myspace, Metacafe, Yahoo Video, and Facebook to name some.

Guide number 2
Enhance your video post through the use of rich keywords content in its article description. Make sure that you use those keywords in your actual video.

Guide number 3
Do not forget to tag your video posts. In as much as using keywords in your title and description, it is also equally important to use tags that relate to your video. As much as possible, use at least 5-7 tags that you have used in your title and description.

It may be quite repetitive but it sure does get a result. With the basic information, tips and guides mentioned in this article, you can start creating and uploading your own videos. Online videos will definitely help you ease the burden of increasing visitors to your site.

Personal Benefits of Using Social Media Tools and Websites

Much ink has been used in writing about the benefits of using social media tools and websites for marketing and promotion of your company, but there are some personal benefits also, as I found out very recently. As a member of the social networking website Facebook, I extensively promote my services and interact with my clients, who are my friends. Most of my interactions till date have been professional in nature, with information sharing being the main motive. However, to my greatest surprise and pleasure, I found out that amidst all the professional exchange, I have managed to nurture some great personal relationships, using this excellent tool.

I realised this when I received numerous wishes on October 3rd, my birthday and I must say that it was made extra special because of the good wishes I received from all my friends on Facebook. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all my friends for their wishes and I wish them the best in all their endeavors.

Know all about measuring ROI of Social Media?

Whenever any conversation arises about social media marketing, companies always involve the ROI of social media and try to define ways to measure it. Businesses using social media view it as any other marketing tool and expect it to provide similar returns, not realizing that this is not a simple marketing tool. Before asking how to measure ROI of social media marketing, it is important understand why you need to measure it and whether such reasons really warrant an in-depth analysis of ROI of social media.

ROI of Social Media

Traditionally, businesses used TV advertisements to promote their companies’ products or services. The impact of such marketing strategies was very easy to measure by measuring the change in sales during and after the advertisement period. Businesses feel that social media marketing works in a similar way and want to measure the ROI of social media in the same manner. Moreover, companies feel that as they have appointed a special person to look after social media marketing, there should be noticeable returns.

The problem with most businesses is with this basic assumption and comparison of social media marketing to traditional marketing. Social media marketing is a tool that is and should be used for effective communication with the community at large. When compared to a marketing tool, it can at the most be called a pre-sales strategy that involves chatting with the prospective customer with the hope of enticing the person to buy the product. It has been often associated with idle conversations and building relationships. Social media marketing is akin to the free trials of products that are given as part of traditional marketing, and also all types of technical support that is given before final sale. When defined in such terms, ROI of social media becomes very difficult to measure as it is very tricky to measure the ROI of conversations and relationships.

Secondly, it is important to note that social media marketing is most useful in post-sale customer service, where companies use these tools to maintain and develop their customer base. If there is a customer who does not like a product, then companies employ such methods to ensure that the problem is solved. By helping such customers, you are building a loyal base, which in turn will virally ensure future growth in sales. This again proves how difficult it is to measure ROI of social media in actual terms. While customer service and pre-sales strategies definitely cost something and are a necessary investment, it is important to understand whether such measures can be calculated and whether such measures actually reflect their impact on businesses.

Finally, proponents of measuring ROI of social media feel that people only oppose it because they do not know how to measure it and hence feel that it is hard to calculate. This is not true as it has been proved that while ROI of social media is difficult to measure, it is not impossible. It is pertinent to note that some people feel that this method of measuring ROI of social media is short sighted and completely wrong and that there are other ways of measuring than in monetary terms. According to such people, while value of a conversation and relationship cannot be measured in monetary terms, it definitely has some importance, which may or may not be directly visible.

In a nutshell, you will need to measure ROI of social media to keep a tab on the results that it’s delivering, and fine-tune your strategy, as and when needed, to reap the optimum benefits.

What attracts most: SMM or SEM?

Given the high use of internet for most of our activities today, it is important that we devise online marketing strategies. Two very important internet marketing strategies widely used today are Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing. Both these strategies are different only in approach and the kind of traffic they attract. However, you should remember that these are two sides of a coin and need to go hand in hand for any internet marketing strategy to be successful.

Search engine marketing is a kind of internet marketing through which companies improve their rankings on search engines and ensure more traffic to their websites. Search engine marketing is largely of three types, using pay per click advertising method, placing strategic advertisements containing precise information on various search engine websites and lastly, with some search engines, it is possible to pay and be included as a higher ranking page. However, the best way to ensure success in search engine marketing is to make your website search engines optimized by using appropriate keywords, unique content and other SEO techniques.
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Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a way in which you engage with your customers by using various social media tools. By using various social media tools, you can actually disseminate information about your company to a group of people who are actually interested in reading about it. By giving people opportunity to air their opinions on a particular aspect of your business, you are actually building relationships. A good profile with excellent content and by directing good traffic to your website, you can use this strategy effectively.

The primary difference between the two strategies is the time taken by each to generate incoming traffic to your website. It is seen that search engine marketing brings in more traffic to your website at a much faster rate than social media marketing, which takes some time to generate quality traffic to your website. However, even if social media marketing takes time, it ensures long lasting relations with the people who visit your website.

Secondly, people often state that it is difficult to measure social media marketing but it is not impossible. Using the right analytics, it is possible to measure the ROI of a blog as well as the exact amount of traffic coming from social media sites to your website. Measurability is very easy in search engine marketing as the course of incoming web traffic to your site is more visible. In addition, pay per click strategy and placement of paid ads help in measuring the impact.

Third difference is the kind of traffic attracted by each marketing strategy. Search engine marketing attracts SEO traffic, which include people who are actively searching for your product or service, thereby ensuring high rate of conversion into customers. Social media marketing, on the other hand, attracts organic traffic, which may or may not be interested in what you have to offer. However, once you have managed to convince the person about the relevance of your company, the conversion is absolute and one that will continue for a long period.

In conclusion, it is best to say that for any internet marketing strategy to be successful, both strategies should be used in tandem, starting with the search engine marketing strategy to create large number of hits to your website and then following it up with the social media marketing strategy to ensure your customers stay loyal.

5 Easy ways to wet your Feet in Social Media

Brand marketing over the years has seen a tremendous change and growth. In the initial years, you had a local shop that you were loyal to. You knew the shopkeeper who knew you and there was a relationship based on knowledge and trust. After this period, came a time where money was an important factor in decision making and cheaper the goods were, better was the brand loyalty. However, today with the advent of social media marketing, people have once again turned towards personalized marketing of brands.
Web 2.0 marketing experts claim that social media tools help small and big businesses in a large way to create presence on the Internet. These tools help the companies communicate with their customer base and pursue a mutually trusting relationship with their customers. Small businesses can position themselves in the market by making social media submissions and influencing customer decision by positively engaging with the latter.
There are many ways in which social media can be used to successfully promote your business. The five easiest ways are discussed in this article:
1. Creating a dominant profile: The first way is to create a dominant profile on any one of the various social media tools that are available on the Internet. This will help create a commanding presence and increase brand awareness amongst the customer base, which in turn will help people follow your brand. While creating your company profile on these social media tools, it is important to put forth your key characteristics that will help increase your follower base.

2. Participation: Participating in the various events and conversations taking place in such social media sites is the best way to ensure brand loyalty. According to social media experts, engaging in positive conversation with your customers or fan-base by listening and talking to them, is the best way to ensure brand loyalty.

3. Be honest: While engaging in a conversation with your customer base, it is important to be genuine and honest about yourself and your company. “Honesty is the best policy” is an adage that is totally applicable in today’s competitive world. This will help in the long run in building faith, knowledge and standing in society about the company and its products as well as services.

4. Blogging: Web 2.0 marketing experts swear by the blog as one of the easiest way to start using social media tools. Blogging is considered the best way to distribute information about you and invite comments from the readers. Engaging with your readers by writing attractive blogs that create interest will definitely help increase your fan following. Social media experts claim that the quality of your blog in terms of content will ultimately help enhance your brand popularity in the market.

5. Be human while promoting your brand: Finally, you have to attribute some human characteristics to your brand that your customers can relate to and understand. This can be done by identifying specific keywords that describe your brand and personalize it to your customers.

In conclusion, it can be said that the use of social media tools will definitely help in the growth of your business in the long run. However, it is important to identify the best social media tool that you can exploit to your advantage.

Case Study1: Procter & Gamble – Being Girl

P&G

Social media has emerged as a great tool in the recent years where you can market your products and services for free. The real value of social media – especially the social networking and microblogging sites, lies in the number of people who use them. It is an integral part of the business process to reach out to your targeted clientele and know them better. So, you can use the tremendous reach of the social media, especially the Web 2.0, to reach out to your customers, listen to their problems, participate in discussions about your offerings (products and/or services), and build a brand recognition. Be it twittering, blogging, or facebook-ing on the World Wide Web, you need to make some fans who are usually very vocal online and can do you a great service by spreading the word around. The icing on the cake for this is that you don’t have to spend anything at all!

If you still have doubts whether social media can serve as a useful tool for marketing your offerings online, you should listen about how P&G changed the way feminine-care products and other similar stuff from its stable needs to be marketed. The scenario of P&G’s marketing strategy changed with the launch of its community-building site – Being Girl, which provided a platform for young girls to discuss about feminine-care products and other health facts. If the girls had not got this platform, they would not have talked about the issues plaguing them so openly. By offering these girls a discussion forum, culture items targeted for this specific age group and health facts, P&G was able to increase its sales greatly.

The use of social media by P&G was able to drive home a larger point – A majority of products are like feminine-care products that people hardly like to talk about. So, you need to show your targeted clientele that you care, by talking about their problems and offering them solutions. Such conversation in turn would allow you to talk about your products eventfully and make a killing regarding your ROI (Return On Investment) as P&G has successfully done.

Source: econsultancy
My special thanks to the author- Meghan Keane

Corporate Companies embracing Social Media Marketing

I spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and the likes, reading about various aspects of the social media. The fact remains that Social Media is powerful. I read about many successful “social media case studies” and also about corporate companies that trust social media, and how they are embracing these unique ways of promoting business. There are companies who fear using these unique ways of promoting their companies. The companies that ignore the efficacy of the social media are:

• The ones who are not aware of social media, or
• The ones who are interested but don’t know how to use it, or
• The ones who do not believe the power of social media strategy.

Here, I would like to highlight few corporate houses that are engaged into Social Media Marketing:

Procter & Gamble’s “Being Girl” is a site targeted at 13 year old girls. P&G used an indirect approach and created a community for young girls to discuss the issues that usually plague 13 year old girls. And it worked like magic.

P&G

Coca-Cola Conversations” is a blog written by Phil Mooney (Coca Cola’s archivist/historian) that focuses on Coke collectibles. The blog also has a number of Coca Cola stories, recipes that use coke as an ingredient; and just about everything from the world of Coca Cola.

coca

Jet Blue Travel Stories” is how an airline is telling a story about the travelers that use its services. It lets its customers upload their stories in a simple yet unique manner, and these can then be played for the world to see.

jetblue

On the Go with Amy” is a Blog that is sponsored by Best Western. Amy, the author, travels the country writing about her varied experiences in a manner that is fun to read, and also gives travelers/readers important travel related information from time to time.

onthego

The Platform” hosted by Cisco addresses a variety of audiences for their global business. It discusses various aspects such as relevant news, security, collaboration, the web experience, etc.

cisco

GM next- Driving Change” has blogs by GM to communicate directly with its customers around topics ranging from design to green tech. Besides, GM has also made its presence felt on social media sites such as Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.

gmnext

While this does make it seem like the pool is full to the brim, social media allows a business to do so much more. I would love to see some more corporate companies engaged into social media in the comment section 🙂

The fifth 'P' of Marketing- "PARTICIPATION" in Social Media

With the advent of the Internet, it is easier for small businesses to market their products and services. The variety of social media tools, available today in the market, has made it easy for businesses to reach out to a wider consumer network and instil brand loyalty towards their products or services. Web 2.0, a second generation of web based services, has led businesses into the arena of social media marketing. Traditional marketing and its classical 4 “P’s”, being Product, Price, Place and Promotion have been changed to suit the current needs and is extended by adding the fifth “P”, being Participation.

Today, competition has increased because of the information glut caused by various media specialists believing in social media marketing for business promotion. If you want to maintain brand loyalty, visibility is the key. To be visible on the Internet, word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool used by businesses. The fifth “P” or Participation comes into play in such a situation as it allows you and the customer to interact with each other, thereby developing a mutually beneficial relationship.

So, you might ask that how exactly does one use and benefit from this fifth “P” of marketing or Participation? Web 2.0 marketing experts have claimed that there are four steps that need to be followed in order to maximize the Participation factor in promoting your business. The first step is to listen to the customers for which you have to monitor all talk that is generated about your company. In order to do so, you may use a RSS reader as most of these conversations are RSS enabled. The second step is to create awareness about your brand and you can do this by using social media tools to your advantage. Blogs, Wiki, etc can be used to your advantage for creating brand perception among customers. The third step is to measure the extent of presence of your brand.

Social media experts claim that after you have completed the first three steps, you have to Participate. This can be done by way of participating in existing blogs, sending e-mails, creating chat rooms on your website where customers can talk to you about their problems, and even by allowing customers to post testimonials about your brand and company. In short, participation means allowing the customer to have a say in all activities of the company, making sure that they are involved in the entire brand loyalty process, rather than being led by the company.

By using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and the likes, you could create a fan-base for your company, who in turn could become your loyal customer and popularise your offerings online. Another method is to publish information or videos regarding your company and invite comments on the same. Start a blog on your own website, a place where customers can voice their feelings and be assured of a response and action, if required. On a concluding note, Participation is basically making sure that your presence is felt by the customers at all times and to make them convinced of your interest in their welfare.

What can Web Marketing 2.0 do that Advertising can’t?

As the Internet has grown with its huge database of information on varied sources, more and more people are spending their time online. This phenomenon has opened a new market of Internet advertising. Of the lucrative Internet marketing pie, Web 2.0 has a very important place. Web 2.0 refers to Internet-based services belonging to the second generation and consists of wikis, folksonomies, social-networking sites, blogs, video-sharing sites and mashups.

The reach of traditional form of advertising is limited and the whole process of developing the ad-copy and marketing it using the services of a PR person takes a lot of time, money and effort. On the other hand, Web 2.0 marketing has a wide pyramid-of-influence that can be reached pretty fast and using just a fraction of the cost that would have been used by traditional marketing methods to reach the same number of people. What’s more – with Web 2.0 marketing, geographical borders vanish and you can reach a global audience to market your products and/or services. However, you would need to do your own homework and become a web 2.0 marketing expert to reap the optimum benefits of this online media.

Unlike traditional advertising channels that were highly controlled and limited by nature, Web 2.0 marketing offers a much liberal space to customers where they can freely discuss about your products and services. So, against the traditional advertising channels that could only allow one-way messages, the dynamic arena of Web 2.0 marketing offers a much bigger participation for the consumers. Moreover, as everyone can generate and shape the message on Web 2.0, you can no longer control the nature of message, unlike the standard channels of traditional advertising like radio, print, and TV. As peer-to-peer communication and “word-of-mouth” marketing is the driving force of Web 2.0 marketing, you can spread your intended message in a viral fashion by doing proper planning for it. Just imagine what a cakewalk it would be to pass on a message related to your products and services to hundreds of friends and contacts all around the world with almost no cost and within a fraction of a second!

As you can’t control the nature of message that will get circulated on Web 2.0, the next best thing that you can do is to influence it. Try to build a good brand image online by taking an active part in the conversations about your products and services. Be an active listener and try to learn what your customers’ needs are. Then, design and deliver your offerings accordingly to delight your targeted clientele. Remember – Web 2.0 marketing is a lucrative opportunity that you can use to engage your community and turn strangers into fans. These fans would act as your online salespeople who would promote your products and services. If all these steps sound like an uphill task, you may consider hiring a social media expert, who would do the job with professional precision and bring you the desired benefits.

All these explain why web marketing 2.0 can help you achieve a lot with proper planning that traditional advertising can’t even think of!