Hello all! So, we’re currently under a wind advisory and snow forecast here at school, and I’m kinda super excited. I know parts of the nation are less-than-thrilled about more winter weather, but I JUST WANT ONE SNOW DAY. JUST ONE. SERIOUSLY.
Anyway, as the child-like joy of potential snow days courses through my veins, please enjoy my second installment of writing about WSI’s Digital Minds.
SEVEN: SOCIAL MEDIA SHAKEDOWN BY ROB THOMAS AND TRACY SPENCE
I’ll be honest–this chapter has a lot of information that I was already familiar with, but there were some really neat, newer points.
To start the chapter, Thomas and Spence wrote about Facebook. After going through basic points such as increased traffic to one’s website, brand awareness, consumer trust, etc., an interesting part of this section was the breakdown of the People Talking About This and Weekly Total Reach metrics. Facebook tracks the first 28 days of these numbers, which was a number I didn’t know. Also, the authors encourage developing polls and questions for users to answer in order to increase consumer engagement, and I’d really love to delve further into that poll or even quiz idea (there are great, fun places to design quizzes on the Internet such as Playbuzz, which numerous businesses explore).
Next, Thomas and Spence discussed Twitter. I learned more about promoted tweets, which actually don’t cost any money unless they are clicked on, re-tweeted, favorited, or replied to, so this means that to just have Twitter place those tweets onto relevant followers and users’ timelines for basic viewing, there is no cost!
LinkedIn was a fun section that emphasized the importance of managing two LinkedIn accounts–personal and then joining or creating a professional account/getting involved with your business or career account–by posting relevant information, helpful content, and joining groups. This way, the professionals that are on the website are more eager to follow your page and recommend your services to others, and if I had an expert in the industry recommend someone’s work, I’d be inclined to trust them. That’s a top-notch referral.
Google+ offered an interesting discussion on how circles work: essentially, companies can’t join your circle. You have to invite them. This prevents annoying spam and advertising overload, but it also means that a company or business has to work extra hard to post great content and earn a potential consumer’s trust! Then, once the customer is interested enough, they will add you. That just means they’re THAT much more interested in reading or hearing what you have to say, which means you have a solid follower base!
CHAPTER 8: VIDEO MARKETING: DON’T BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS IT BY BALTEJ GILL
This was such a fun section to read! Gill delves into the benefits and basic how-tos of video marketing.
First, he discusses viral videos, which is a big deal, because a lot of companies want to hit it big with a viral video without realizing just how tricky that accomplishment is. They end up wasting resources and valuable video time.
Gill says that, sure, if you want to experiment with the occasional fun or humorous cat video or Will It Blend? type of idea, for for it, but don’t become obsessed with that approach. Also explore videos that are informational such as FAQs or Intro to the Industry/Subject Area of your company.
Gill also offers two sites to explore the most popular keywords in order to efficiently tag your video for prime viewing: Google Keyword Research Tool and Google Uber Suggest. He also a helpful Things to Keep in Mind section:
– A 30 second video will be viewed roughly 85% of the way through while a 2-minute video is only viewed about 50% to completion–AKA, shorter is better.
– Make sure your video is good quality: not pixelated and the speakers are able to be heard. You don’t have to go spend hundreds on a fancy camera or boom mic, but aim for accessibility in the form of good lighting, camera stability, and audible, coherent content delivery.
– Don’t be afraid to add in a call to action in the form of a link or landing page given the end and in the description of your video, and don’t be afraid to ask viewers to like & subscribe!
– Relax and keep your delivery natural. Don’t try to put on airs or be the next Billy Mays or anything like that.
As for distributing your video, embed the video on your website or blog, share via social media accounts, e-mail blast, and explore video ads, which will allow YouTube to put your videos high on the search results list or even on the home page’s Recommended tab.
In the realm of SEO, the focus is keyword selection. I didn’t know this (and it seems silly, because in hindsight, this suggestion seems so basic & essential), but title the file name in accordance with SEO keywords. That means no exhausted, college-student, 1am titling of files with “alksjdf;laksjdflksjdf.docx.” (I am guilty of this.)
Explore meta tagging for descriptions and during the video upload itself, and submit the video to various social sites such as +1, StumbleUpon, and DailyMotion. This increases exposure and shows sites and web users that you are distributing this information over multiple platforms.
Also be sure to throw in your keywords during the actual video audio, because now YouTube searches and records the CC/script of your content!
Don’t be afraid to ask for video testimonials from customers, either, which can give an honest boost to reputation management.
Don’t forget about the importance of metrics with regard to video sites, as well! YouTube offers nice metrics via Google Analytics.
CHAPTER NINE: E-MAIL MARKETING: A CONSTANT DRIP BY CHERYL BALDWIN
I hate to sound harsh, but I sort of thought e-mail was dead. It’s 2015, after all–not 1995 (that video is made all the more relevant by the fact Friends is now on Netflix).
Baldwin, however, had me totally re-thinking the medium.
First, she talks about building a database of contacts. She lists a few ways to do so: have a classic submit-your-info box or clipboard sign-up by the register, ask people for their e-mail when checking out at the register, or offer subscription links on your social media sites or a public newsletter. Also, provide incentives such as coupons, whitepaper or eBook offers, or contest entries (people love contests). Offer a forward to a friend option, too, because the average is 5-10 friends shared per call-to-action (I did not expect this high of a number!).
Determine customer segments. A customer who tends to spend–on average–a larger amount of money than another needs different e-mails than someone who spends less. Explore demographics such as gender and age group or interests. If someone buys a vacuum, for example, they’re not going to be interested in laptop accessories.
Also, don’t forget to separate prospects and customers. These groups will need to be addressed differently, too, and study click-through and open rates across different demographics.
Be relevant and brief with content (link out to other pages if you want to add or offer more information), allow users to update their subscriber profiles as time passes and lifestyles and details change, and include reviews, mobile accessibility, and money-back or warranty policies in your e-mails.
Lastly, don’t write-off e-mail like I was tempted to before reading this chapter! Develop good content (i.e. invitations to seminars, shopping sprees, videos, FAQs) to send out via e-mail, keep the e-mail lists and content specialized and relevant, and you might be surprised at how much revenue that account brings your company!
WSI. Digital Minds: 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Victoria, BC, Canada: FriesenPress, 2013. eBook.
Overall, these three chapters were super intriguing and fun for me to read, because they’re topics with which I’m familiar. I didn’t expect a whole lot of new info but was VERY pleasantly surprised.
I really shouldn’t be, though, should I? WSI advertises this book as written by specialists and experts, after all, and the content certainly delivers.
Meanwhile, I’m certainly grateful that I decided to use this book in my independent study!
That’s all for this week, and HERE’S HOPING FOR SNOW!