Should I use YouTube Videos on my Website?

Youtube videos

Using YouTube videos on your website, whether yours or someone else’s, is a great idea for helping fill out your site and get more traffic. The following tips provide best practices for using YouTube videos on your website, as well as reasons why you should.

Why You Should Use YouTube Videos on Your Website

Save Bandwidth – When you use YouTube to host videos, you save an enormous amount of money on bandwidth and secure hosting services. It will be impossible to use shared hosting when you host your own videos, so using YouTube for hosting is a winner right out of the box.

Deliverability Is Higher – When using YouTube to host your videos, you will not have to worry about whether or not your audience can view your videos on multiple devices. Your audience also will not have to download anything. They’ll just be able to watch how they like watching.

Provide Commentary – Don’t just embed someone’s video without making some sort of commentary on the blog post about what’s inside the video. Add your thoughts about the video before showing it, and add some commentary after the video also. Also, only use video that belongs to someone else if embedding is allowed.

Embed Your Own Videos – When you publish a video on YouTube, automatically embed it into your blog, on a blog post scheduled for whenever you normally schedule that type of content. By embedding it in your blog, and providing commentary as instructed above for other people’s videos, you’ll increase viewership exponentially.

Include Snippets – If you see a video that had a point you want to expand on, and that allows embedding, then embed only that part of the video. The system provided by YouTube allows you to choose when to start and end the snippet. Provide your commentary and content in text surrounding the share of this video content. It can be a great catalyst for a blog post. You can even do this with your own videos, giving an added boost to videos already shared.

Choose the Right Location – On your website you probably have different categories for content. Ensure that when you start adding video that you create a category for video, and also subcategories to enable your audience to find the video they want to watch easily based on the topic or subject.

Notify Audience That Video Is Included – Putting [ video ] in the title of your blog post will enable your audience to know that when they click through they’ll see a video. This is useful for many reasons, but one is that search engines like video and apparently so do people. So, if you want that post to rank higher, let everyone know that a video is included.

One Video Per Page – One thing you need to be concerned with when it comes to using video on your website or blog is page speed. Putting too many videos on a page can not only slow page load speed, but also it will confuse your audience. Using one at a time will ensure that focus is maintained.

As you become accustomed to using YouTube to host your videos on and off your website and use the content that YouTube and its members offer to the public, you’ll be able to enhance your website in ways you never thought possible. Adding Youtube videos to your website is definitely something that you should do to increase visibility and traffic.

How to Know if Your Marketing is Working!

Marketing is WorkingDo you really know if your marketing is working and what is not working? Many business owners and marketing managers have no clue and keep on pushing forward blindly into the

STEP 1 – CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Drucker means that you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked. The first part of that is to clearly define your ideal audience. This is something we have written about many times in this blog, but if you need a refresher course this post will help tremendously: How to Find Your Ideal Clients.

STEP 2 – KNOW WHAT YOUR END GAME IS

Most would agree that you have to know what the end game is – what you want to ultimately achieve when it comes to your marketing efforts, which of course varies business to business. Most often the answer is sales, and while that should be the ultimate goal of any business when it comes to marketing there are other goals you should be striving to achieve along the way. Goals such as: email sign-ups, website visitors, annual revenue, social media engagement etc. Here’s a great article in Entrepreneur on how to set this up for your business: This Is How You Come Up With Marketing Goals.

STEP 3 – SETUP A SYSTEM TO MEASURE YOUR EFFORTS

Once you have those parts of your marketing strategy nailed down it’s time to focus on ensuring it is effective. The key to that is to look at your content and find out what is working for you right now. You probably have already figured it out, but what is working right now is based on stats that you can glean from analytics software like Google Analytics. If you’ve not installed any analytics software, it will be hard for you to determine what is working so far. Here’s a link that will show you how to set it up on your site: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1008015?hl=en.

If yo are not sure how to use Google Analytics to see what is and in not working right now, you might want to take a look at our course on Google Analytics in the Strategix Marketing School – this course covers the essentials you need to know in order to see what is working and what is not working on your website. For a limited time, you can register and take the class for 85% off, when you click on the image below.

We recommend measuring the following 3 things as a starting point:

  1. Who Is Already Visiting Your Site?
  2. Where did they come from?
  3. What content are they engaging with once they are there?

However, if you don’t have it setup or very little data at this point you can still look at which blog posts have garnered the most comments, and which social media posts have gotten the most likes and shares. Keep track of this information on a spreadsheet so you can more easily analyze the results.

If you’re just getting started, and have nothing to compare, that’s fine. Just get set up right so that you can track your goals. Everything starts with a goal. Your goals should be specific and trackable. When you have a set goal in mind for each piece of content that you create, then you’ll be more likely to experience success.

Aside from that, you should make it easy for your readers to consume, share and engage with you through your content. Add share buttons, encourage and ask for comments, respond to comments and more. As you learn what works, do more of what is working and less of what is not working.

Test different versions of the same piece of content. For example, if you have an email message that you want to send to your audience, try sending it with two different subject lines. Send different versions of the email to each half of your list, and see which one gets opened more. Then, in a week or so, send the one that got opened most to those who did not open the first one. This is how you’ll act on what is working. Knowing what works helps you improve everything you do in the future.

Once you know what to measure is becomes significantly easier to determine if your marketing is working or not and then make the necessary course corrections.

Turn your Support Questions into Videos

support questionsMaybe this should be obvious, but it is often overlooked – one of the best sources for content and especially video content is by looking at the support questions you get. This should be obvious, but to some people it’s not. An often undervalued area to find video ideas is support questions and discussions in forums or groups. These areas offer exceptional ideas to spark new video ideas.

8 Ideas to Create Videos from Support Questions

Look to Your Competition – You don’t have to wait for questions to arise in your own discussion groups. Instead, go to the competition’s discussion groups and FAQs to find out what questions are being asked. Formulate answers in video form and post to your website, blog, social media and YouTube.

Check LinkedIn – LinkedIn has groups where people start discussions, post articles, and more. Go to the groups that consist of your audience and read the questions they ask. Take any question that relates to your audience and answer it in video form. You can literally find unlimited ideas on LinkedIn.

Read Facebook Groups – Join a few Facebook groups that consist of your audience. When you see people ask questions, don’t worry about reading the answers; just collect the questions and use those as ideas for making future videos.

Do a Twitter Search – Look for your niche on Twitter by doing a search on your topic to see if anyone is asking questions about it. Use those questions as your start for any video you want to create.

Check Pinterest – On Pinterest people don’t really ask questions, but they do post information in the form of images. They often group things together that they’re researching. For example if you have a food blog, and you want to make videos, you can find great recipes for any genre right on Pinterest.

Help Desk Questions – If you have a help desk, whenever you get a question in there, answer it like you normally do but make it in video form. Send the video to the customer, and then post the video in your FAQ for more help when people are searching.

Make a Compilation Video – If you find a lot of the same questions being asked, combine all questions into one subject of the video and try to answer them all in one. Still keep the video short, though.

Ask for Questions – A popular type of longer video on YouTube is a Q & A. Participants ask on social media for questions that they’ll answer at a specific date on a future YouTube video. Using this method means you’ll have to act fast to answer the questions within 48 to 72 hours of asking your audience to submit their questions.

Making videos is easy once you realize that ideas are everywhere. Keep a notepad or Evernote at your fingertips so that you can notate ideas immediately. Don’t rely on your memory when you get an idea. Write it down immediately so that you won’t miss out on making that video. The big thing is to take some time and look at your support questions to see what will generate a great video and then get to work on getting it done!

Generating On-Site Experiences That Bring Attendees Back for More

memorable eventsHaving face-to-face meetings and events is invaluable. They help foster relationships, build trust, encourage openness and offer a way to have immediate and clear communication with others. In this day and age, it seems that online events are the only way to do events, but nothing could be further from the truth.

However, in-person, on-site experiences need to be much more exciting than sitting hour after hour for presentations that one could have watched online. In person, on-site events require something that will make the attendees want to do it again. There are many ways to make your event amazing. Let’s go over a few.

Tips on Generating Amazing On-Site Experiences

Use the Best Technology You Can Afford – There is so much technology you can use today for on-site meetings and events that will help such as an app that will help like-minded attendees find and locate each other, and technology that will match up businesses that need each other. There is also technology that enables audience participation and questions to be asked and answered more easily. Get what you can afford that is above a traditional “presentation” type meeting.

Choose the Best Location You Can Afford – If you really want people to attend your event, then the location does matter. Not only does location matter, timing the event right to coincide with something important in that location can also help so that attendees (given the time) can do both. For example, have an event in Washington DC during the time that the cherry blossoms bloom, or in the Ozarks during the fall colors.

Make Sure the Food Is Awesome – You want to give people plenty of food choices. Today people care a lot more about their health than they used to. You may consider polling those who sign up for the event and pay about their food choices so that you can do a better job with food provisions.

Someone Should Greet Everyone – If you have to hire greeters, do so. Nothing is worse than going to an in-person event and feeling like a nobody, with no one greeting you or helping you know what to do or how to get involved.

Have a Meet the Speakers Special Event – Offer an upgrade to VIPs where they can have a dinner with the speakers at their table. Kind of like a “captain’s table” event on a cruise ship. People will pay good money to be able to hobnob with the speakers.

Offer Breakout Sessions – If your event is large, having smaller breakout sessions with 10 to 20 participants with a speaker will be an amazing way to help people get closer. You can arrange them together based on answers they give in the questionnaire you give them at the time they register.

Ramp Up the Content – The content that you and the speakers have at a live event should be even better and tighter than for a webinar or teleseminar. The speakers need spot-on slides, or visuals, and a good story to engage the audience.

Attract Well-Known Speakers – Even if you can’t get a lot of well-known speakers, pay at least one well-known person to speak at your event. Do ensure that they’re relevant to the event and can speak to the target audience.

Design for Relationship Building – Ensure that there are plenty of breaks, and even planned tours of the area around the event location. These are all networking opportunities for the individuals that come to the event.

Be Specific about Priorities – Know what your point is for having the event before you even start, so that you can stick to your priorities. You don’t want to have an event that no one understands the point of.

Build in Networking Opportunities – Set up after-hours drinks, dances, and other activities that can help people with networking. Do some in the morning, some at lunch, and some after dinner and some in the evening so that you can have a little something for everyone.

Inspire and Motivate Action – Don’t just talk at your guests; talk with them. Invite them to comment, invite someone or a few on stage to tell their story in a spontaneous way. The more you can inspire them and motivate them, the better they’ll feel when they leave, and the more they’ll want to come back.

Making people want to come back involves a well-oiled and planned event. If you can afford to, hire an event planner to help you get everything organized well so that you can focus on the content. Using these tips, your on-site experiences can lead to not only successful events, but add potential leads to your pipeline as well.

8 Tips to Making More Professional Videos

professional videosCreating professional videos can be as simple or as hard as you want to make it. You can spend thousands making professional productions or you can spend little to nothing making barely presentable videos, but you can also take the time to invest in these small efforts to make your videos more professional with very little additional work or money involved.

8 Tips for More Professional Videos

1. Set Them Up Correctly – When you upload your video, take the time to include all the relevant information. Title, tags and descriptions, including links to your landing pages, should all be included in every single video that you upload.

2. Invest in Good Lighting – Good lighting doesn’t have to cost that much. You can get a lighting kit from Amazon for under $150. Look for the ePhoto Digital Photography video 2400 Watt THREE Softbox Lighting & Boom Hair Light Kit H9004SB2. This is a good investment to make and will help create more professional videos.

3. Set Up a Visually Pleasing Background – You can make a green screen inexpensively, but you can also just create a nice background by using a fold-out wall separator or room divider. Again, Amazon has a lot of good choices that you can choose from, but if you have a Tuesday Morning or other home décor store you can find this anyplace inexpensively. Add a plant and the proper lighting, and you’ll have a great background for all your videos.

4. Include Closed Captioning – Including closed captioning is an added touch that will not only be appreciated by deaf people, but will also help your videos be picked up by search easier. You simply upload a text file as explained in this video.

5. Include Annotations and SubtitlesYouTube makes it easy to market your videos and your items off YouTube by allowing you to include linkable annotations and subtitles in your video. You can learn how to do that by using professional editing software like Camtasia.

6. Choose a Quiet Place to Record – One of the most irritating things about watching some videos is the background noise. Sometimes this is in the form of a busy street or a noisy room with a loud fan, but sometimes it’s on purpose with the background music. Be careful about background music, and be sure that listeners can easily hear the important parts of your video without straining.

7. Invest in Good Equipment – You don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment, and truly some mobile devices like Smart Phones work great for recording video for YouTube. So try out a few things and see what will work best for your type of videos. The equipment you choose depends on your audience, the type of videos you want to create, and your current budget.

8. Create a Publication Calendar – You should already have one for content for your marketing efforts, and now it’s time to include a new format: video. Your videos should include the same type of content you need to promote, whatever you’re promoting elsewhere. Every piece of content you put out should go together and all should lead to your landing pages, newsletter sign-ups, and products.

Making professional videos based on your audience’s preferences and what they expect is a good way to get more views. However, don’t allow professionalism to stand in your way. You can start small and build over time as your income and impact go up.

Book Recommendation: The New Rules of Marketing & PR

new rules of marketingThe New Rules of Marketing & PR, 5th edition
Where to buy: www.amazon.com

When it comes to reaching your target audience, there is an art to it. Online marketing is about being visible to people just when they want to hear from you. “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” offers updated information for all sizes of companies to have the impact that they need to increase sales and visibility.

This edition was published in 201 and provides relevant information for online marketing techniques. This includes using Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, press releases, Twitter and more. The best part is that you can accomplish it all without shelling out your entire budget for marketing. For anyone who wants to make a splash in the online marketing world for their company, this is a good place to begin learning about all the ways it can be accomplished.

If you’re skeptical, the author, David Scott includes case studies to support his strategies. Use your content to attract new customers to your business as well as maintaining a relationship with current customers. Get your copy and start applying the principles.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR