March 12, 2010
YouTube is one of the most popular sites and in addition to all the fun there, YouTube offers many opportunities for promotion and getting traffic to your site. Similarly to Facebook and Twitter, in order to use YouTube successfully for promotion and getting traffic, you need to know the rules for this. Here are some tips how to promote yourself, your site, and your products and how to get free traffic from YouTube:
1 Post viral videos
There are millions of videos on YouTube. If you post a video nobody is interested in, this video will go unnoticed, as millions of other videos. The clue to getting traffic from YouTube is to post useful videos, or even better – viral videos. Viral videos are not only useful videos, but they also tend to appeal to large groups of people. If your video manages to get viral, people will promote it for you and the only thing left for you is to reap the benefits.
2 Create an interesting profile
Similarly to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site, an interesting profile is a must. If people like your videos, they will check your profile to learn more about you. When they see that your profile is boring, they won’t bother more with you. You can make your profile a bit informal but don’t make it as if it were the profile of a crazy teenager – you are using YouTube for business, right?
3 Include your logo and website in the video
Your logo and your website URL are your major branding weapons. This is why you must include them in the video. You can include them in the beginning of the video or at the end. It is best to have your logo and URL throughout the whole video because this way you will be gaining lots of exposure but if you can’t do it (for instance because of artistic considerations), the beginning and the end of the video will suffice.
4 Post quality videos
As already mentioned, there is no shortage of videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, this also means there is no shortage of videos with poor quality. These videos are not favored by viewers, so if you want viewers to watch your videos, make sure that your videos don’t have crappy sound and/or blurred pictures. YouTube is not a board for professional videographers, so you can post amateur videos, but make sure their quality is decent.
5 Promote your videos
If your videos get viral, you are lucky but you can’t count on this. In order to get YouTube traffic, your videos need viewers. You can’t rely solely on the fact that viewers will find your videos – you need to promote them. Even viral videos will benefit from a promotion by you.
6 Make your videos search-friendly
One of the ways viewers find your videos is through search – both locally on YouTube and on search engines. This is why you need to make your videos search-friendly. To do this, include your major keywords in the title and in the descriptions. Also, pay special attention to the tags. List as many keywords as relevant in the tags, but beware that you don’t get spammy.
7 Post in series
Standalone videos can become a hit but it is best if you create series of videos and post them once a day/week. This way viewers will know that there will be more and they will be coming to check. Even if you don’t create series, at least try to post videos regularly – this builds audience loyalty.
8 Post video responses
Video responses are one of the unique things about YouTube and you should take full advantage of it. Search your niche, choose the most popular videos in your niche and post video responses to them. Just be careful that the response you post is related to the video you are responding to and don’t make your video response a blatant self-promotion.
9 Choose the right time to post your videos
On YouTube, timing is very important because there are peaks in traffic and times when there are not so many viewers. Weekdays (especially Wednesdays and above all – Thursdays) morning or early afternoon US time is the best time to post a general interest video. In order to have your video uploaded in the prime time, you need to plan a bit. Have in mind that for large videos and/or slow Internet connections the upload could take you an hour, so start early.
10 Keep your videos short
YouTube doesn’t impose limits on the length of videos it publishes but generally long videos are boring. 3 to 5 minutes is the best duration for a video but if required you could go from 1 to 6 minutes. When a video is longer than 6 or 7 minutes, this gets boring and not many people will watch it to the end (where your logo and URL are to be found). 3 to 5 minutes is enough to lay your idea, give some details AND tell viewers to visit your site for more.
11 Comment on other people’s videos and include a link to your site in your comment
In addition to video responses, you can also use plain good comments. Again, search for popular videos in your niche and comment on them. If your comments are liked by viewers, they will check your profile and probably watch your videos.
YouTube is a valuable resource to drive traffic to your site and to promote it. The competition there might be fierce, but there is always room for a couple of good videos. Fill this room before your competitors do!
March 10, 2010
You’re tweeting mad if you’ve missed the short-term and long-term benefits that a social media platform like Twitter can create for your business and personal brands.
Some may even call you a tweethead. Those people aren’t very nice but here’s what is nice: generating new clients with minimal consistent output.
If you’re tired of utilising haphazard techniques to marketing virally through this monstrous medium, fear not! Help is at hand.
Here are my five steps to becoming highly infectious on Twitter and how to benefit from WofM (word of mouth marketing).
1. Select your poison
Your poison is the message you decide to deliver, it is your angle on a particular topic, your personality, your comedic relief, your professionalism, your enthusiasm and the quality of your content.
What do you want to be known for? Be very clear. Think of yourself as a celebrity or a musician that becomes known for a specific type of genre. Why would people want to follow you? Is it because you have something interesting to say? Or is it because of your sharp wit teamed up with educational information that your consumers can actually use?
Share content with your follower’s that is practical in nature and engages their emotions. Never underestimate the power of chemistry to spark WofM. People will talk about you if you pleasantly surprise them, make them angry or get them to feel excited or even sad. Move them emotionally and they’ll move your message virally.
2. Choose your apps
Out of the thousands of apps you can team up with your Twitter account, I keep coming back to a couple of key ones. They are TweetDeck and Social Oomph. TweetDeck allows me to track what is being re-tweeted and who is spreading my message across the web, whereas Social Oomph allows me to schedule my tweets in advance and manage my output to a few short hours per month with maximum results.
Choose your apps carefully. It will be greatly dictated by your working style and your main objectives.
3. Get Re-Tweeted
Dan Zarrella, a social media and viral marketing scientist, studied The Science of ReTweets. Out of 84,000 re-tweets, here’s what he discovered:
- The term “RT” was utilised in 86.79 percent of the ReTweets and the term “ReTweet” was only utilised 13.21% of the time.
- The word ‘please’ occurred in over 5 percent of the ReTweets.
- 69.05 percent of the ReTweets contained links to an external site whereas 30.95 percent of them contained no link at all.
As you can see from the data, it is not only important to say “please RT” but to also add relevant links where possible. Write articles and post them up on your website’s blog and then proceed to promote the blog article via Twitter posts. Shorten your urls so you can fit your article headline in the post. TweetDeck has an application for this. This can be a substantial driver of traffic to your website. My own Twitter account can drive over one hundred hits to my website within five minutes when applied in this way. Don’t dismiss Twitter as another fad. It has the power to move the masses.
4. Consistency. Are you a Cher, Madonna, Tina Turner or a Richard Branson type — or do you give up like Sarah Palin?
How consistent are you? Like any marketing campaign, you must be consistent in your message to gain traction and engagement. If you plan to use Twitter as a tool then it needs to be used consistently to gain visibility.
Have you ever read Madonna’s bio? That woman doesn’t give up and neither should you. If you aren’t getting results, wear a cone bra! Or, alternatively, you could take a different approach and test your Twitter campaign. Testing and measuring is important. You can’t fix what you don’t know is going wrong. Something Sarah Palin should probably learn.
“Oh, no you didn’t!” Oh, yes I did!
5. Don’t be a Wallflower
Take a lesson in public relations from Lady Gaga. She works the media like no one else and like Gaga you need to learn how to work your Twitter followers. Adding a dose of controversy to your Twitter posts results in immediate reactions, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.
The trick with controversy is to put it into context. If you do plan to comment on something highly sensitive, do your research and be prepared to back it up with statistical evidence or an inarguable debate. Nothing gets people speaking more than a topic close to their heart and there is nothing more mentally stimulating than a healthy debate. Debate creates change and, in your case, could convert clients.
Write an article that is controversial within your profession and post it on your website, promote it via twitter and get individuals to have the debate on your platform and on your turf. Who knows, they may just agree with your point of view and defend you against other critics. Now there’s a diehard fan worth taking to the bank.
Ben Angel is the author of the brand new controversial book, ‘Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business – The Ultimate Guide to Attracting & Seducing More Customers.’ Grab your copy today by visiting www.benangel.com.au
From the Team at WebWitches
Tags: Increase traffic site Internet seo Online internet marketing Online ranking Online seo Learn SEO online SEO Course SEO for Beginners Search Engine Optimizing SEO Handbook Keyword SEO SEO Course Online
March 4, 2010
Websites are almost like business cards, everyone has one and they aren’t afraid to hand out the URL at every available opportunity. But unlike business cards, websites need ongoing attention and care.
A poor online experience from a potential client can equal a loss in sales, which means a loss in dollars. Luckily there are five simple things you can do to ensure your website is up to scratch.
1. Have a content style guide for people to refer to
How are your authors (or you!) going to keep your content consistent if there is no central point of truth for preferred spelling, punctuation or referencing.
Writing for the web is not like writing for traditional communication collateral like brochures, fact sheets and publications. Even if you are a professional communicator, make sure you learn or brush up on your web writing skills before tackling a big web project.
3. Don’t underestimate the resources required to run a website
Websites are not a set and forget communication tool. They require tweaking, testing and reviewing on a regular basis. Content does go stale, and search engines like maintained pages.
And don’t for a minute think that social media is the easy way to have an online presence. Social media is great – but it can be really, really, really (get the picture) time intensive. If you are going to start a Twitter account for your business, have a plan and set aside some time each day to connect.
4. Don’t start a blog if you’re not going to write posts
Blogs are really easy to start, not so easy to keep going. If it’s unlikely you can stick to a regular post schedule, think about other ways you can improve your content instead.
If you do start a blog, you have to commit to maintaining it. Mind map out a few months of posts so that you are not staring at blank page a month in. This also helps prevent you using up all your good ideas in your first few posts.
5. Be easy to contact
If you have a contact form or email address, make sure it’s monitored! People expect a fast turn-around on the web, and while you shouldn’t have to check your messages 24/7, make sure you are easy to contact. Also, make sure you reply to all the emails you receive (spam not included of course), not just the ones that look interesting. Even if you can’t help the person, a short, polite email thanking them for taking the time to contact you is important.
Remember, the web can be simple and cost effective, but that doesn’t mean it should be cheap. Invest in some time and resources to make the most of the medium, and you’ll reap the benefits.
From the Team at WebWitches
How One Man Used Social Media to Raise $91,000 for Charity
By Casey Hibbard
Published March 2, 2010
The Big 4-0. For most, turning 40 inspires something big.
For Danny Brown, it wasn’t a sports car, Vegas trip or marathon run. He was inspired to set a different challenge for himself—to bring people together and raise money for worthy causes. And the response was very unexpected…
To celebrate his 40th, Brown and his wife spent a few days at Niagara Falls. Taking a break at a local café, they noticed an elderly woman come in by herself and order ice cream.
Brown wondered about her story.
After he and his wife headed home, Brown couldn’t stop thinking about the lonely-looking woman in the café—and regretted not talking with her.
“Everyone in social media talks about how we need to connect and open up,” Brown says. “I couldn’t make that connection to the lady we saw in the restaurant. We forget human connections offline. I wanted to make sure that if someone needs help or just a little bit of company, that people are reaching out to them.”
That a-ha moment kicked off a project that has since raised nearly $100,000 to date—reaching countless people.
One Man, No Budget
Brown launched the 12for12k Challenge, an initiative to bring social media communities together to help people offline in 2009. For years, Brown has worked in corporate communications and social media for companies like British Telecom. Currently, he’s the social media strategist for Maritz Canada.
Brown’s challenge takes the power of social media to the nonprofit world. “I know quite a few people offline who do charity work and the struggle is administrative costs,” he says. “I knew social media could offer a wider audience for far less investment.”
The 12for12k Challenge set an ambitious goal: raise $12,000 monthly for 12 months for 12 different charities—with no budget (the only costs were the website and hosting, which Brown paid for out of pocket).
His vision: Solely rely on social media to spread the word and raise donations for a featured charity each month. Then, 100% of donations go to the charity.
When word spread of Brown’s plans, his contacts and their contacts lined up to help. There may not be funds, but ideas, persistence and passion are the currency of social media anyway. In that regard, more than a dozen core 12for12k volunteers made it a “rich” initiative.
Four Cornerstones of the Campaign
Danny Brown launched the 12for12k.org site after an experience left him wondering “just how social we are.”
First, they set ground rules. Each supported nonprofit must operate with no more than 10% administrative costs, be a registered charity, and accept donations via PayPal or credit card.
Social media activity drives people directly to the 12for12k.org website to learn more and donate via ChipIn, a Flash widget that shows a running total of donations. Donations go directly to each nonprofit’s bank account.
About half a dozen volunteers joined Brown in generating updates on 12for12k’s four social media cornerstones of the campaign: blogging, video, a Facebook group and Twitter. More recently, they started a Ning community.
Updates on the Facebook group focus on featured charities, events and fundraising progress. The organization posts videos on YouTube and Viddler to kick off monthly campaigns and highlight related causes, such as homelessness.
Additionally, about 30 blog partners take Brown’s messages to their audiences.
Danny Brown prepares to kick off the 12 Days of Christmas Homeless Push in December.
One Cause Nets $15,500 Via a Tweet-a-Thon
Taking advantage of Twitter’s viral capabilities, the organization created a Twitter avatar “frame” for followers to include on their profile pictures, which encourages their followers to ask about 12for12k.
Last March, 12for12k featured Share our Strength, a national organization working to make sure no child in America grows up hungry. The organization’s “Pledge to End Hunger” campaign, led by MediaSauce and Kompolt, sought pledges online in response to a challenge from Tyson Foods. For each pledge, Tyson would donate 35 pounds of food or 140 servings.
Scott Stratton of Un-Marketing.com volunteered to help 12for12k host a Tweet-a-Thon for Pledge to End Hunger. For each $12 entry, donors were entered into a drawing to win one of about 20 prizes, such as an iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle 2, Flip video camera, gift cards, Nintendo Wii Fit and jewelry. A purchase of 10 entries automatically earned donors a free website review.
With entry fees and raffle prizes, the effort hoped to raise $12,000 in just 12 hours.
Scott Stratton of Un-Marketing.com donated his time and ideas for 12for12k.org’s Tweet-a-Thon for Pledge to End Hunger.
Supporters of 12for12k and Share our Strength, and hundreds of other friends and supporters, Tweeted away all day, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The resulting response exceeded Brown’s and Pledge to End Hunger’s expectations. They hit their goal of $12,000 much faster than 12 hours – in just five-and-a-half hours.
“Honestly, I was shocked,” said Jeff Wiedner, director of community engagement at Share Our Strength. “I had a feeling that the timing was right for our mission and, since Scott knew so many people, that we’d do pretty well, but I never expected how quickly we reached that $12,000 target.”
When all was said and done, the total reached $15,549 for Share Our Strength, which pushed donations beyond monthly averages for the nonprofit. But the impact extends well beyond the actual donations.
“We got attention from folks like Mashable, Chronicle of Philanthropy and other media,” Wiedner said. “That led to more folks knowing about SOS and our mission, which led to a bump in our online community, which led to greater interactions with our community and building out of other campaigns later with other bloggers. There were some additional corporations that learned about us, too, as our reach grew.”
A total of 477 contributors raised $15,549 for Share Our Strength during a 12-hour Tweet-a-Thon.
4000% Traffic Increase
Brown turns to analytics tools Woopra and Quantcast for detailed measurement of traffic on the 12for12k.org site. With those, he not only knows traffic numbers but where they live, their income level, average spending, ethnicity and gender—letting him tailor content and events to his audience.
In March, the site was “hammered” with a 4000% increase in traffic in a 12-hour period because of the Pledge to End Hunger Tweet-a-Thon.
Yet the most important metrics for 12for12k don’t require fancy measurement tools. In 2009, the initiative fell short of its goal of $12,000 every month. But it still raised $91,275 that all went directly to charities and the people they help.
More importantly, Brown did so without any organizational budget, on the side of his day job.
Well into 2010, he still hasn’t stopped. In fact, the momentum of last year has inspired him to do more. Plus, he’s intent on continuing to support the charities of 2009 as he can with exposure and social media help, if needed.
Year two began by featuring Hope for Haiti, bringing in $8,000 so far from 140 contributors.
Brown wants to expand by enlisting sponsors, hosting more events and focusing on three charities each quarter, rather than one each separate month. This year’s theme, “connect globally, help locally” will encourage people to do more in their own communities.
“A lot of people don’t do anything because they’re just one person,” Brown said. “If you think you can’t help financially, help a local charity in your city understand how to use social media to tell their story. Ask a charity what you can offer them.”
What do you think about this story? Have you seen any great examples of social media impacting nonprofits in your community? What are they doing well?
From the Team at WebWitches
March 3, 2010
If your company depends on the business generated from your website – and let’s face it, most do to some extent nowadays – then the content you publish should be of paramount importance to you, as it is representative of all you stand for, in relaying your message and brand to your customers (and potential customers). Therefore, it is crucial that you don’t overlook this when spending a substantial amount of time and money creating the best-looking and most interactive website in your industry.
Your web content is the main reason users will visit your site and so your level of success can rise or fall depending on what is on your pages. If you want to remain in business and generate your fair share of site traffic, you need to remember that content is important and therefore should be considered very carefully.
To do this you may wish to provide interesting information about your products/services through a blog, becoming a strong resource for the latest news and happenings in your industry sector. You can also generate discussion on your blog and provide advice and guidance to your site’s users.
Think carefully about the quality (and quantity) of content on your site and you should start to notice a positive change in site traffic volumes, with users encouraged to visit your site on a regular basis.