Getting started on YouTube

How Your Business Can Get Started on YouTube

YouTube, the Google-owned video network, boasts over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views. On mobile alone, YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.

What’s amazing, though, is that only 9% of small businesses in the U.S. are actively using YouTube, and my hunch is that figure would be pretty accurate worldwide, too.

So, why aren’t businesses investing in YouTube?
Also, how can your business get started on YouTube?

In short, because video is harder to produce than a blog post or an image. Or at least that’s the perception many of us have.

In reality, though, video is becoming much easier and cheaper to create. This means there’s a huge opportunity for your business on YouTube.

If you’ve been debating getting started on YouTube or have maybe experimented a little and not yet found your feet, this post is for you. Throughout this post we’ll dive into:

  • The basics of getting your account set up
  • How to create a YouTube channel
  • How to create the perfect channel art
  • Top tips for optimizing your channel

How to create a YouTube channel

Creating a YouTube channel using your Google account

If you have a Google account, you can watch, share and comment on YouTube content. However, Google accounts don’t automatically create YouTube channels. Getting a new channel set up is a simple and quick process, though.

1. Go to YouTube and sign in

Head over to YouTube.com and click ‘sign in’ in the top right corner of the page:

Then log in using the Google Account you’d like your channel to be associated with:

2. Head over to your YouTube settings

In the top right corner of the screen, click on your profile icon and then the ‘Settings’ cog icon.

3. Create your channel

Under your settings, you’ll see the option to “Create a channel,” click on this link:

Next, you’ll have the option to create a personal channel or a create a channel using a business or other name. For this example, we’ll choose the business option:

Now, it’s time to name your channel and select a category. The channel options available include:

  • Product or Brand
  • Company Institution or Organization
  • Arts, Entertainment or Sports
  • Other

Note: a new Google+ page will also be created for your brand.

Congratulations! You’ve just created a new YouTube channel.

Next, let’s fill out all the information and create some channel art to get your page looking awesome.

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Beginner's Guide to Social-Media Marketing

3-Step Beginner’s Guide to Social-Media Marketing

Social media has become as much a daily part of our personal lives as it has our business lives. What once was cutting edge just a few short years ago is now just the norm. So how do you know which aspect of social-media marketing you need to have and which aspects are simply passing fads? Are you in need of a beginner’s guide to social-media marketing?

For entrepreneurs who are just starting their businesses, wrapping your arms around your social-media marketing plan can feel like a stretch. Do you need to be on all outlets? Which are best? How will you manage all those conversations? There’s a lot to think about when you’re getting started and some important questions you need to ask yourself.

1. Determine your MVPs.

When you first begin to formulate your social-media plan, you may be thinking about what outlets to get started on. However, sometimes a more important conversation to have when you’re starting out is which outlets to avoid.

There can be a general feeling that you should get your business on any and every outlet available to you. However, that can be a mistake. Not all outlets are relevant for every business and trying to force your business onto a platform that isn’t right can feel awkward and inauthentic.

Start with your social-media marketing MVP plan. The MVPs of social-media marketing means two things: your most valuable platforms and your minimum viable platforms. When it comes to social media, less can be a lot more. Why?

You are going to need to be active across every platform you’re on for the duration of your business. This means not just great conversations but valuable content and hawkeyed monitoring. Would you rather have sparse contact with tons of people across lots of platforms, or would you rather have valuable, intensely personal and relevant conversations with the right handful of people? Which do you think has the most value to your business in the long run?

2. Consistency isn’t key, it’s critical.

Once you determine your MVPs you need to come up with a reliable posting schedule that can’t be broken. If you aren’t going to be able or willing to post on a specific social-media outlet religiously, you shouldn’t be playing on that platform at all. It’s that important.

Who are you going to assign the challenging and time-consuming task of vigilantly attending to your social-media outlets? Get clear about who will take ownership of this space and come up with a plan for how and what will be said to stay consistent not just with posting but with your brand voice.

Understanding this step can put into perspective the importance once again of your MVP outlets because if you can’t post to an outlet, you shouldn’t be on it.

3. Take risks.

The risks you take will be commensurate with the type of industry your startup is in — but don’t be afraid to mix up the conversation and start taking risks in your social-media postings. These can be anything as simple as showing some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of your day-to-day business or sharing your personal struggles as an entrepreneur.

Make sure it’s honest and relevant, but sometimes taking risk and exposing more of yourself and your business can really help with making a splash. People like authenticity and transparency so let your audiences see what’s behind the curtain.

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9 Tips for Packing Your Brand’s Message Into a 15-Second Instagram Video

It has been shown through data, by Forrester Research, that Instagram represents by far, the best platform for marketers to interact with consumers. Brands are beginning to understand that having a presence on the platform is a necessity, but many don’t understand all of the features it has to offer.

One part of the service to note is the 15-second video feature. According to a report from BI Intelligence, in the U.S. 50 million people watch video via their mobile devices. Globally, 15 percent of all time spent watching online videos is done using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices. While a common misconception amongst brands is that video marketing is too costly of an endeavor, by utilizing Instagram’s free 15-second video editing feature, businesses now have an invaluable tool to engage their audience with.

In order to successfully engage with consumers by utilizing the video feature, one must be fully educated on how to properly use it:

1. To audio or not to audio, that is the question. Any audio usage, whether that is music or speaking – is absolutely incredible and adds an additional sensory component to the campaign, which is a great way to engage the audience and enhance their experience.

2. Editing 101. There is a fine line between simply capturing video and over-editing content on Instagram, an avenue for organic content. Nonetheless, Instagram offers editing so it makes sense to use it.

3. Intriguing consumers with the cover image selection. The thumbnail of the video should both aptly capture the video’s driving idea, while also generating interest or buzz among followers.

4. Filters. Between “Clarendon” and “Gingham”, Instagram offers unique filters that help brands create stunning videos. However, since you will most likely have multiple shots, it’s wise to use only one filter while shooting to give the video uniformity and not cause distraction.

5. Angles. Create truly unique and captivating shots by siting low or standing high, while also panning up or down.

6. Be aware of light. Although low light is not necessarily the enemy, don’t hold low light shots for too long as they tend to get grainy. Make sure to pair low light shots with brighter shots on either side that can cover them up.

7. Narration. You can add narration to your video. If developing a “how-to” or instructional video, this can be a great tool to use.

8. Don’t forget to share. If your brand uses Instagram, chances are you are also using Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Once a video is uploaded, make sure to share that content to the other social media platforms to reach a wider audience.

9. Use influencers. The most powerful marketing comes from friends, family, someone you follow or someone you trust. We call these people “influencers.” You must connect with and utilize these influencers to reach the ideal audiences for your brand. Given the proper guidelines, they can create content for a product or idea that will resonate with your audience and have a lasting impression. They have ability to tell a truly striking story in that mobile environment. It’s essential to collaborate with them and tap into their abilities to work for you.

The integration of video into Instagram is another proof point of how fast delivery content in this way is growing at a tremendous rate. The attention spam of consumers is rapidly evolving and developing custom influencer created branded videos for Instagram is the not only the future, but the most scalable form of marketing for the most innovative brands and digital marketers.

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Tips for Maximizing Your Paid Content Promotions on Social Media

Now that you’ve seen the value of incorporating paid promotion into your social media strategy, follow these four tips to get the most from every advertising dollar you spend:

  1. Make it shareable. A long article probably isn’t the best piece of content to share in a paid promotion. Instead, share videos, infographics, memes, short blog posts, or “top 10” lists.
  2. Test your promotions. Try sharing different promoted content pieces on different social networks. Then, evaluate which types of content perform best on which networks. For example, most B2B businesses have better success on LinkedIn than they have on Facebook.
  3. Identify your objectives. Most people slap up a promoted post, cross their fingers and hope for the best. You’ll have more luck if you create promoted content based on specific goals. These goals could include increasing likes/followers, boosting sales revenue, or gathering new names for internal lists.
  4. Pivot when needed. Track your results and analyze your numbers so that you’re not stuck on a strategy that’s failing. If you’re spending money to promote content without getting new customers, then you need to spend your money in a more effective way.

The social media sharing game has changed, and your business has to work harder to get noticed. Don’t think of paid content promotion as an expense. Think of it as an investment in your company’s growth.

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Why You Should Pay to Promote Your Content on Social Media

Some marketers claim that great content always rises to the top, no matter what. The truth is that getting people to view content organically means cooking up a complicated soup, which consists not only of great material but also a wide range of optimization tools. Optimizing for search engines, building author and site authority, outflanking keyword competition, and writing for geographic relevance — all of these matter just as much as crafting a high-quality piece of content.

Paying for content promotion on social media is an essential part of a comprehensive digital marketing plan. Here are six reasons you should add paid promotion to your social media strategy.

Organic Is Still Best, but It’s Getting Harder

Back in spring 2014, Facebook culled many page posts from its news feeds because news feeds had become too crowded. Overnight, companies with thriving Facebook presences saw their numbers plummet. Think about it: Harvard University has an admissions rate of 6.3 percent, meaning that applicants have about a 1-in-17 chance of getting admitted to the elite school. A Facebook post has a 1- to 2-percent chance of getting into someone’s news feed. Your chances of getting into Harvard are better than your chances of getting an organic post to your Facebook fans.

Other networks haven’t been as draconian, but it’s harder to get noticed in increasingly crowded feeds no matter what social networks you use. When nearly every business, celebrity, not-for-profit, and fictional character has its own social network account, a social network feed gets as noisy as the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Don’t give up on organic promotions, but do add paid promotions into your marketing mix.

Social Media Pay-for-Promotion Is Cheaper Than AdWords

To reach 1,000 people, the average AdWords customer pays $2.75. To reach 1,000 people on LinkedIn, an advertiser spends $0.75. Reaching 1,000 people on Facebook costs just $0.25. Moz blogger Brian Carter puts it another way: Spending $1 on Facebook promotions every day could get your content in front of at least 4,000 people each day.

Social Networks Offer Valuable Targeting Tools

Once you’ve identified your target customer, social networks offer extensive tools for putting your content in front of the right people. Using Facebook’s tools, you can target your ads or promoted posts based on location, language, age, gender, education levels, workplace, interests, and relationship status. You can also create ads targeted to people from your email list.

With Twitter, you can use third-party tools to help aim your promoted content toward the right audience. SimplyMeasured, for example, offers a free tool that helps you analyze your current Twitter followers. You can then aim your promoted tweets or Twitter Cards toward people with similar characteristics.

Social Networks Provide Value-Added Tracking and Testing Tools

Social media analytics tools can track customer response to your ads or promoted posts. You can easily see which promoted content received the most clicks, shares, favorites, or re-tweets. Twitter Card analytics let you see which types of Twitter Cards attract the most engagement. It also reveals top influencers that link to your promoted content, which gives you a place to start conversations with people who can amplify your content organically.

You can also use third-party tools like SimplyMeasured or HootSuite to track engagement across multiple platforms. Instead of logging into each social network account and running analytics, you can run reports from a single location. Using these tools, you can perform A/B tests to see which versions of the same promoted posts get the most response. You should test different keywords, headlines, images, post formats, and other messaging to see which earns the most audience engagement.

Promoted Posts Increase Chances for Engagement and Sharing

By paying to promote your post, you increase the chances that people might share your content or engage with your organization. Under current conditions, if you post an amazing piece of content to a Facebook page that has 1,000 fans, only 10 to 20 people might see your post. Boosting your post can increase its chances of going viral. Instead of hoping that followers find your content via search query and navigate to their social networks to share it, paid promotion enables sharing from within the social network interface.

Paying to Promote Content Is a Great Way to Reach New Customers

In the early days of social media, you’d share great content with your followers, who would then share it with their friends. In some cases, those friends would become new customers for your business. Unfortunately, your fans and followers aren’t seeing your content as often as they once did, so it’s not getting shared with as many new customers. Promoted content gives you a better shot at winning new customers, particularly if you combine your social media paid promotions with promotions on Reddit or StumbleUpon.

Some marketers claim that paid posts don’t elicit as much engagement. It’s true that you might see a high number of initial “likes” and clicks without the repeat engagement that organic shares can bring. However, you can still use information from new “likes” and clicks to gain valuable leads. Some businesses use promoted posts to gather names for their email marketing lists.

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Facebook Advertising Cost

Understanding Facebook Advertising Cost

Determining Facebook Advertising Cost

How much does Facebook advertising cost? How much should I spend on Facebook Ads? When talking to businesses about running Facebook Ads those are the top two questions asked. Especially considering the need to track ROI on paid ads.

A short answer would be: Spend less on each customer you get through Facebook Ads that they are worth to you.

Before we can elaborate further on how to determine that we need to look at the types of campaigns available on Facebook.

Facebook Advertising Campaign Types:

Every Facebook campaign requires that you choose a pricing structure. The options are CPC, CPM, CPL, & CPA, you should note that CPA is only available if you choose “Website Conversions” as you “Ad results”. CPL is only available if you choose “Page Likes” as your “Ad result”.

  • CPC (cost-per-click): in this campaign type you only pay when someone click on your Facebook Ad.
  • CPM (cost-per-mille): in this campaign type you pay Facebook when they’ve shown your ad 1000 times. Meaning this campaign type is a cost per impression, when a Facebook users sees your ad once that is considered an impression
  • CPA (cost-per-action): this allows you to not only track but optimize how much you spend to get someone to take an action (or convert) on your website after click on your ad.
  • CPL (cost-per-like): much like the campaign type sounds you are paying Facebook for every “Like” your Facebook Pages receives this campaign is great for helping a new company make a splash and get noticed in their particular area or industry.

Finding Your Cost Per Acquisition

You can start by using Facebook’s built-in Cost per Action tracking, this will give us the cost of the initial action that a user will make on your website. If the action is to make a purchase than congratulations you know what your cost per acquisition will be. However, if you are looking to have your user download an ebook, sign up for a newsletter or fill out some type of form, you will need to add an extra variable to this equation:

CPA x (Number of Leads that Convert / Total Number of Leads)

After determining your Cost Per Acquisition you can determine if the cost for Facebook Ads is in line with your marketing efforts and start to build out the best ad campaign for your business. Building an ad campaign on Facebook is like building the perfect social media which you can read about here.

facebook-advertising-banner

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Social Media Post Perfection Tips

Social Media Post, Tips to Perfection

The Pursuit of the Perfect Social Media Post

A question I’m asked quite frequently is what makes a perfect social media post. Some even wonder if such a post even exists.

To be able to create such an amazing post you would have to consider these pieces of criteria:

  • Was the post released at the right moment for optimized organic reach and engagement
  • Was it written in the precise tone and voice to achieve positive response from your audience
  • Does your post create sentiment with your audience that they would feel the need to share it

Is such a post possible? It does, however, it is so rare and elusive that to many marketers it is considered the holy grail of achievements. Despite it being elusive, it is worth the effort to achieve the perfect social media post. Below is an infographic that contains tips that will help you to build social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine, as well as tips on timing your posts.

Tips for the Perfect Social Media Post

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Why Millennials Aren’t Liking Your Posts

Every company wants to build a Millennial following on social media, yet few succeed. Successful businesses make interacting with their audiences look completely natural, leaving other business owners asking, “How is it so easy for them but so hard for me?”

The truth is, most of the mistakes that companies make on social media are both common and easily correctable. Understanding those mistakes is the first step toward creating a social-media strategy that actually works.

What You’re Doing Wrong

Common mistakes business owners make in trying to reach Millennials through social media include:

Insensitivity. Millennials are a socially conscious and socially active generation. It’s fine to poke fun at certain universal issues, but one mindless or callous post can quickly lead to trouble. This is a lesson IHOP learned the hard way after a successful campaign was derailed byone insensitive tweet.

Spokesperson Reliance. People listen to cultural icons not only because of who they are but also because of what they say. While celebrities might get a promotional message out there, a good Klout score does not necessarily lead to conversions. Fendi’s ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner failed to impress fashion fans, despite her celebrity and social engagement, because the message was not on point.

Trying Too Hard. Sometimes a tongue-in-cheek reference to Millennial slang works well, but shoehorning phrases like “FOMO” and “on fleek” into your posts out of context will only alienate your audience. For example, negative response to the PepsiMoji keyboard shows that Millennial love for emojis goes only so far.

Millennials can sense insincerity a mile away, so don’t try to beat them at their own game. If it rings false for you, chances are it will for them, too.

What Actually Works

The surest way to get Millennials to look at your content is to make them laugh or get them excited. Once they get their eyes on it, make them chase you on social platforms instead of the other way around. Tease with header copy or curiosity-inspiring imagery, and don’t disappoint when they engage with the call to action. If you satisfy their curiosity, you’ve gone a long way toward earning their loyalty.

Ensuring their satisfaction means making the content relatable. Millennials who see their personality quirks, niche interests, and common experiences reflected in content are bound to react by liking, retweeting, tagging, and sharing, spreading the influence of your content like wildfire.

Here are more methods to revamp your social-media strategy and get Millennials talking about your brand:

1. Invest in social analytics and content testing. Don’t push forward with your strategy just because you have a “feel” for what Millennials love–get data to back up your campaigns. Perform dark testing on content to measure engagement while minimizing full impact, and stay up-to-date with what people are saying right now about your brand to avoid mistakes in your editorial calendar.

2. Let them be co-creators. Don’t just show them–include them. Millennials appreciate personalization and the ability to actively enter the conversation. Studies show that people remember user-generated content 35 percent better than other content, and trust the information within it up to 50 percent more.

3. Give them a talking point. High follower counts mean nothing without generating conversations. Push content about topics Millennials are talking about, and build partnerships through that commonality to create advocates for your brand. Remember, you don’t just want them to consume, you want them to influence their peers.

4. Serve the unexpected. Rather than throw the overused expressions of Millennials back at them, be authentic–even if that means putting a mirror to their experiences. Millennials almost demand to be inspired by brands, so give them something unusual through your experiences and content.

Remember that Millennials aren’t aliens. Like any other demographic, they just want content that appeals to them. From a marketing standpoint, making that connection is up to you.

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Should Your Start Up Embrace Social Media?

Many individuals who are creating startup companies are of the same mind that digital marketing is not an area to focus on as a main objective in the beginning phases of growth. Their primary aim is to build their product line; find the means to monetize their product and drive revenue.

These small businesses shouldn’t overlook the advantages of branding and digital marketing. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Your business is a Startup

There once was a Canadian professor of English and Philosophy who coined the concept of a global village. The idea is that people are connected by easy travel, mass media and electronic communication, and because of this become a single community. It’s this reason that I know about something called a cronut in New York, the newest information surrounding Star Wars Episode VIII, or that Kanye West did something else to make him seem like a bigger fool.

In a nutshell the internet is the new word of mouth, this just means tht you need to make sure your words are reaching people where they are. Which is typically taping away on their mobile devices and not actually paying attention to the words you are saying in your commercial or that fancy billboard you hung up on the freeway.

2. Digital marketing gives you more for less

With the solutions available to you from digital marketing your business can grow its consumer base with a low budget and through sharp targeted marketing. It’s as simple as that you don’t need a large amount of money to burn into radio ads or a billboard or a spot in a magazine.

3. You need a recognizable brand

Before making the decision to use your product or service your brand is how potential customers perceive you. Most consumers will link something to an image, an idea or a preconception prior to associating with it.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Cover Photos

When people arrive at your Facebook Page, where do you think they first look? I’ll give you some hints. It’s a visual piece of content that sits at the top of your page. Its dimensions are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. It takes up almost a quarter of the screen on most desktop browsers.

That’s right — it’s your Facebook cover photo.

Since it’s one of the most noticeable parts of your page, it’s crucial that you follow Facebook cover photo best practices. Whether you’re using Facebook to generate leads, close your next sale, or create a customer community, knowing how to make and optimize your cover photo is very important. Read on to learn what you should (and shouldn’t) do in your cover photo.

  • Do abide by Facebook’s cover photo guidelines.
  • Do make sure your Facebook cover photo size is right: 851 px wide by 315 px tall

  • Don’t abide by the 20% text rule, but try to stay visual

  • Don’t hide content behind your profile picture

  • Do right-align the objects in your cover photo

  • Do integrate the cover photo design with other parts of your Facebook Page

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