It’s amazing how the landscape of the internet is evolving, especially with regards social media. The way we do business these days has changed, and unless you change your old ways of doing business, you will become extinct.. (Video Below, you must watch!)
Never since the 1800’s has this country seen such a "Social economy" shift, so it’s vital to get involved in social media, that is where people are, your community, your customers are hanging out.
Social media engagement is all about trust, if they know you, trust you, they will buy from you period. Remember "Advocacy" is your $$ ROI. If they like you as person, "they" will tell people about you and your services, thus you should not come across as ’selling’, but be a ‘contributor’.
One last tip…Don’t just ‘Fire’ and throw yourself into social media and barrage people with your services, links, etc..Remember this point: "You never get a second chance at a first impression"
I invite you to watch this video (Afterward, leave a comment if you agree or disagree with the video), as it beautifully explains the change in business practices. It’s about the relationship between an advertiser and a consumer. They’ve agreed to meet in a restaurant. The man’s feeling perfectly happy, until the woman makes a painful announcement: she wants a divorce…..watch what happens.
One sector that is especially feeling the punch is the hotel, vacation arena. I know this because one of my clients is a hotel, The Islander Inn in Ocean Isle Beach, NC.
With hotel bookings down this year anywhere between 20%-80%, it is critical to attack the internet, and that is exactly what we are doing for them.
What works? What does not work? Well, let me show you a couple of things we have done that is working so far.
User Generated Content:
Clearly in the coming years, you will see consumer decisions influenced by what others have said, via reviews, or user generated comments. All the local search engines have some form of "review" element which has been proven to effect the ranking algorithm, both in local results, and general search results (For a “How to guide” on local search, here is a free whitepaper). Thus, it is important to encourage guests of your hotel to leave a comment. (Hopefully positive) Below is a screenshot of the results for the phrase "hotels ocean isle beach, nc" As you can see, they could pump up their reviews a bit. Perhaps down the road I will give tips on how to get people to review your site.
I have this video in my “fun” category, however I thought I would give this a little more lime-light, Big Mo, the poetic prophet, AKA “The SEO Rapper” raps about best practices for designing a website, with a SEO twist. He is totally dead on with his points too. Big Mo is off the Hizzy, Ma-nizzy…
I wanted to throw out a quick post to remind myself, and everyone that web videos are not only important for your site, but for your web site’s image. Remember a web video commercial creates a powerful emotional experience for your viewers, and videos are just now gaining exponential momentum. This May, 2008 there were a record 119 million unique viewers, up 20-30% from last year! If you do not have a website video for your blog or site, I suggest you put that on your short list. These days it’s even easier to track, and submit web videos, such as through Tube Mogul. This free service allows you to upload your web video commercial to over a dozen video web sites, and aggregators. Down the road I want to give another comprehensive post on videos, stay tuned. In the mean time, take a look at some previous post’s on website video commercials.
I recently had to stop Twittering, my doctor said I was going to go blind. Seriously, even as big as an Internet geek as I am, I was completely overwhelmed with the massive amount of messages from friends and those I was following, it was just too much. However, at the same time, the social contact is critical to marketing. So, while I am off the Twitter – pipe for now, I have discovered something worth sharing.
Now you know Ty and I are all about Video, it is a major player in SEM now and in the future. Well, in doing some reading and research, I was finally able to get invited to be the pre-alpha tester for the hot new social video tool, called Seesmic. We’ve both been experimenting with video on our blogs, and are implementing it in our , and also with video sites like Seesmic
I mean they are brand new, still in alpha testing. But, as you can see from the video above, the skinny on them is that they are like YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, etc., just without all the extras. I think it’s best summed up as Twitter plus Video allowing video conversations. So, instead of writing short “micros” posts about anything you want and sharing it with your friends and followers, you instantly and easily record short videos, which are then shared with the community. Pretty cool! Got your webcam ready????
Video search as I commented before in our blog, will provide driving growth that marketers will need to consider. Today I noticed interesting changes in Google’s search engine results. The sponsored ads to the right are in a full yellow box, and right below them appears YouTube videos, and news articles, just like they said they would at SMX, in fact Tim wrote about this here. They are also appearing in the top 10 results in the organic listings, so basiclly, the video gets two recognitions!
I won’t go on about ‘Stats’ showing why you need to put video in your website, but let me reason with you a bit as to why you had better get on the stick.
Think about this, when you are sitting on your couch, like Tim does all day, watching your favorite athlete (Me) are you interested in commercials? No! you are in “lean back” and “Chill” mode aren’t you? That’s because you are in “sports watching mode”.
Conversely, when you are on the internet, you are likely in “search” mode, you are looking for a service, product, or educational feedback, thus you are in ‘Lean forward’ mode, and are more inclined to view videos, or video commercials right! Yes, just agree with me, you are in the search process.
Here you go…….
- Optimize your website first, prepare your site for video, and make it easy for spiders to crawl pages your video/videos live.
- Make sure your target audience responds to web videos.
- Perform keyword research for the type of video you will produce
- When adding your keywords, make sure to include keywords such as “video” or “videos” in the mix.
- Get a game plan! Create a business model for your videos, and discern what type of viral content strategies you will employ.
- Will they be funny, corky, entertaining?
- Personal experiences, testimonials, opinions, emotional crying like Tim does?
- How-to, Educational, training, announcements, news?
- Promotions, contest, demonstration of products, benefits vs. features, freebies?
- Showcase your top selling product if you have an e-commerce website.
- Keep your videos between 30 seconds to 3 minutes max. Anymore and you will bore them.
- Find out or predict when there will be groundbreaking news, or other industry news, and produce a video about that in advance, or time the release.
- Optimize your video files – Do not use total flash videos, these are still hard for search engines to index. Use AVI, Windows Media, .mov, or MPEG-4 file compressions.
Well, are you? With the trend moving toward videos being an organic search engine result, as well as a Google Adwords option, I suggest you start thinking of adding a video to your website.
I do not claim to be an expert on making videos, but I have several resources that do. If you are considering video, there are some things you may wish to consider first.
- Is your website optimized?
Why start a website video project when you have not even optimized your site or blog?
- Will you produce videos yourself, or will you have a online web video company create one for you?
If you do this yourself, be prepared to spend time getting the lighting, and sound just right, even then it may not look good.
- Are you creative? Artistic?
If not, don’t worry. Some of the biggest viral videos on YouTube are from idiots. Side note though, if you are doing this to promote your business, you might want to get a creative mind in the mix.