Thursday, June 27, 2013

Create a Video Marketing Plan in 5 Easy Steps

Video marketing is one of the most effective kinds of web marketing available today. Most companies have a YouTube Channel at the very least, and many feature video right on their home page. Getting video marketing right can mean increased conversions and higher profits in the long run - so why not start with creating a video marketing plan? Here are 5 steps to making your plan a great one:

  1. Set your goals and budget – Set a budget and determine what services you will need to pay for in order to make your video marketing the best. Will you create the content yourself, or hire someone to do it? Will you need to license music, use what's available for free, or create your own? Will you pay to have your videos promoted on platforms like YouTube?
  2. Define the target audience – Who will be watching your videos? Do you need to categorize your videos into different types for different audiences? For example, you wouldn't show the same videos to doctors as you would to patients.
  3. Create content – Create scripts and storyboards for your videos, then create them! Don't be afraid to get funny and creative - for example, check out these "Retail Fail" videos by WhizBang! Training.
  4. Choose a video platform – Vimeo, Youtube, Brightcove, Metacafe -  there are endless free and paid options to display your videos to the customer. Develop a strategy for which video platforms you will use.
  5. Develop a distribution plan – It's easy to embed video from many platforms, so be sure to spread your content on social media and the web. Make sure that your video content gets onto your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, blog, and website.
Need more ideas? Check out our article 10 Steps to Video Marketing Success.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This week's webinar with Georges-Alexandre Hanin: Optimization of Content Management for Cross-Device Web Marketing

The very idea that online marketing is crafted using one technique for one type of device has long since been forgotten. Marketers realize that desktop computers are no longer the dominate force in web browsing and web purchases, but mobile shouldn't be viewed as a single entity either. From iPhones and iPads to Android tablets and Internet TV, users are relying on many more wireless web devices to deliver their news and information than ever before. Belgium-based researcher and Mobilosoft founder Georges-Alexandre Hanin understands that content needs to be optimized for many different types of devices, therefore he has crafted this presentation to focus on the cross-device web marketing campaigns. Join Georges-Alexandre Hanin for this week's webinar, and you'll become a bit more savvy in the world of optimized content management for multiple purposes.

Click here to register for FREE (6-26-13 at 12:30pm EST):

About Georges-Alexandre Hanin:

Georges-Alexandre Hanin is the founder of Mobilosoft, which creates mobile marketing solutions for retailers and brands. Launched in 2010, Mobilosoft has built a content management system that lets retailers build and manage their mobile sites. From that system, they can also manage dedicated couponing and text messaging campaigns. Mobilosoft has a presence in Belgium and France, and has websites in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, LuxembourgClick here to register for FREE (6-26-13 at 12:30pm EST):

Friday, June 21, 2013

Top 5 Tips for Creating an Engaging Facebook Page

So you've created a Facebook page for your business, but you're not sure where to go next. Maybe you have some followers, maybe you don't - all you know is that you want to get fans talking about your brand, and fast. Never fear! Here are some strategies that you can use to instantly boost your brand appeal on Facebook.

  1. Ask your friends, family, and current customers to follow you! There is an "invite" button at the bottom right of your admin panel, and you shouldn't be afraid to use it. After that, send out an email blast announcing your Facebook page and create a button on your site, along with an announcement on your home page. Don't forget to post about it on your blog and create flyers or banners for your brick-and-mortar location if you have one - it's important to get the word out as many ways as possible.
  2. Keep most of your content non-promotional. Instead of using Facebook only to advertise, become a leader in your field by posting useful articles, funny pictures, and other great tidbits to your page. Try to keep it 2/3 educational, entertainement, or engaging content, and 1/3 promotional content.
  3. Post 1-3 times daily. Make sure that you post at least once a day and no more than 3 times a day to start out with. As you grow your community and get to know them better, check your Facebook insights in your admin panel to see how many posts get you the maximum amount of engagement on your page.
  4. Engage with your fans as often as possible. When someone comments, "like" their post and comment back. When someone sends your page a private message, message them back. Do this as soon as possible, and always check your page's notifications so you can stay up-to-date with your fan interactions. It's crucial that the fans know you are interested in them.
  5. Create a unique personality that exemplifies your brand. Is your brand casual? Professional? Who is your audience? It's important that you talk to your audience in a way that makes sense to them and that you use language they identify with. You wouldn't tell an audience of doctors looking for medical information, "Hey y'all, here's some stuff for you on heart attacks."  
Looking for more info on making a great Facebook page? Just read our article on creating an engaging facebook business page.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Instagram Launches Video

The white arrow at the top right indicates playable content.
As you might have heard, Instagram launched a new video feature on their social photo-sharing platform. It's in direct competition with Vine, though it does have a few differences. Already, the internet at large is debating on whether or not adding video to the platform is a good idea - it will definitely change the user experience, but it's still too early to tell if people will leave Instagram over the addition of video.

Here at the office, we've definitely noticed a slowdown in the application's speed, but this may be something that Instagram addresses in the near future to create a more seamless video experience.

Does this mean Vine will feature photos in the future and the two apps will completely go toe-to-toe in a death match to win the millions of users at stake? Maybe. In the meantime, let's explore the differences.

  • 7 seconds of video max
  • plays on infinite loop automatically
  • can use previously recorded video
  • allows social sharing and auto-creates an embedding code
  • touch the screen to record, release to stop

Instagram Video:
  • 15 seconds of video max
  • does not loop
  • cannot use previously recorded video
  • allows social sharing and allows you to copy share link, but does not currently provide an embed code
  • touch the red button to record, release to stop

We've already started taking a couple of Instavideos here at TGR to experiment with this new option. What videos are you planning to release on your Instagram?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This week's webinar with Jon Wuebben: Content is Currency: Creating a Turbo Charged Content Marketing Program for Your Company in 60 Days

Author of the book Content is Currency and longtime speaker of the presentation with the same name, Jon Wuebben is back to present another spectacular webinar highlighting the content marketing aspect of business. This time, he aims to really turbo charge your brand's personality with a unique and easy way to create a content marketing program for your company -- in just 60 days! 

From his previous webinar back in February 2012:

The reality is that most web content could be crafted better and focused more on your customers needs. In fact, most companies spend all their energy and money thinking about the appearance and the architecture of their sites and spend very little time thinking about the actual content itself. Failing to look at content from a strategic point of view, they see their web pages as something they need to fill quickly. Instead of providing customers and prospects with free tips, advice, how to and other compelling content to start building a relationship, most companies try and sell immediately… and almost always fail.

Click here to register for FREE (6-19-13 at 12:30pm EST)

About Jon Wuebben:

Jon Wuebben is the CEO of Content Launch, a web content development, content strategy and marketing firm that provides content for hundreds of companies, digital agencies and web designers around the world. His new book, “Content is Currency: Developing Powerful Content for Web & Mobile”,helps businesses everywhere learn how to plan, create, distribute and manage content. Jon has spoken at the Online Marketing Summit, New Media Expo, Annual Conference, Media Relations Summit and for many organizations and industry groups. Speaking topics include content marketing, social media strategy, mobile marketing, SEO copywriting and entrepreneurship. Jon has an MBA in International Marketing from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management. He is also the author of "Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web". 

Click here to register for FREE (6-19-13 at 12:30pm EST)

Friday, June 14, 2013

You Need This Tracking for an E-commerce Business

If you have an e-commerce business, it’s critical to measure each transaction and how they correlate to your online marketing efforts. Yes, it’s important to measure conversions on your website, but measuring the revenue associated with those conversions is much more valuable.

One way you can measure e-commerce transactions is via Google Analytics. Google’s E-commerce Tracking will measure:

• Revenue associated with AdWords campaigns
• Revenue associated with specific referrals
• The number of transactions associated with organic search
• Average per visit value across all traffic sources

You can gain further insights such as understanding how long the decision making process takes for your customers along with how many website visits it takes to entice them to make a purchase.

It doesn't take much effort to enable e-commerce tracking, especially considering the tangible revenue reporting you will have access to. You can then obtain even more powerful reporting by tying this data to your multi-channel funnel reporting.

How are you currently gauging the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts in relation to your e-commerce transactions?

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: D. Laird

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tomorrow's webinar with Ian Lurie - Weird, Useful, Significant: Internet marketing in 2013

It's no surprise that Internet marketing is constantly changing, and we're the first to admit that staying on top of website updates and upgrades can be downright frustrating at times. We've all turned internet marketing into a monster truck show, chasing rankings until our tongues drag on the ground. Now, learn how marketing really works, and how you can apply it to refresh your campaigns, boost revenue and strengthen your brand.

Click here to register for FREE (6-12-13 at 12:30pm EST)

About Ian Lurie:

Ian Lurie is CEO at Portent, a digital agency he started in 1995. His firm provides search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), social media and general strategic services to a wide range of small, medium and large businesses.
Ian believes strongly that great marketing, online and off, relies on clarity and helps customers make good decisions about products, services and people. Several years ago he wrote the book Conversation Marketing to be a common-sense guide to internet marketing. He's also co-author of the Web Marketing All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies. 

You can follow Ian on Twitter at @portentint, or find him on the Portent blog, at
Click here to register for FREE (6-12-13 at 12:30pm EST)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Two Simple Excel Tips for Drafting PPC Ad Copy

From experienced PPC marketers to someone just starting out, these quick tips will be a big help during the process of writing ad copy.

=LEN() Excel Function

If you need to find out how many characters are being used in the different lines of your ad copy, this Excel function will come in handy. Simply type in =LEN(INSERT CELL HERE) such as =LEN(A2), and it will insert the total character count within a cell (including spaces).

Conditioning Formatting in Excel

Taking the =LEN() function one step further, Conditional Formatting will allow you to highlight a cell as you specify based on a particular criteria. For example, let’s say you want to highlight a cell in red when it exceeds a character count of 35, this will allow you to do so along with much more.

You should be able to find the Conditional Formatting button in the Home ribbon of Excel (I’m currently using Excel 2010). You’ll see there are options such as, if a number is >greater than X, automatically highlight a cell in Y.

By using these two features together, it will make your job just a bit more efficient. A quick scan will easily tell you what ad copy is not adhering to character limits and needs your attention.

What are your favorite Excel functions for use with PPC? Remember, this is only scratching the surface!

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: Ryan Hyde

A Picture is worth 1,000 Clicks!

I have been sharing an intenet marketing strategy in my presentations "A picture is worth 1,000 clicks". Pictures, images and cute cartoons found on websites, blogs and Social Media pages are easily shared, liked and commented on and they virally spread marketing messages.

I looked at the Quantcast list of top US sites, and one site jumped off the list Pinterest at #7. Wow, the photo 'pinning' site has more traffic than  Bing, Yahoo and Wikipedia!

Pinterest is most popular among people collecting or pinning fashion and home decor ideas. I use Pinterest to bookmark images such as infographics and internet marketing information, as well as to save images of personal interest such as my wonder-dog Tyler and my beloved Winnipeg Jets.

Here is a link to the Quancast list of the top US Sites. Another traffic rating website Alexa ranks Pinterest at number #16.

I interviewed a young Account Executive candidate. She said the site was so popular among her friends who are bored at work because corporations haven’t blocked the site yet (like Facebook). They can sit at their desk and it looks like they’re working but they are pinning things.

Perhaps the most effective use of images for internet marketing is creating 'Facebook Candy'. Nurses Rock is a Facebook group with over 440,000 Fans.

They regularly add engaging images with captions or slogans to the page, each image is Liked, commented on or shared thousands of times. Each time someone shares an image their friends see the image, if they are interested in nurses or nursing they might 'Like' Nurses Rock and eventually sign up for the All community website. 

How are you using images in your internet marketing programs? Please comment and share below.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Twitter 101

Created that company twitter account but not sure where to go with it from here? Here's our handy guide to Twitter.

Who are you talking to?
Don't start tweeting without figuring out who your target market is. Are you talking to men, women, or both? How old are they? What are their likes and dislikes? What benefit are you providing to them? Answering these questions will help set the stage.

What do you want them to do?
The number one thing you want them to do is engage! This can mean retweeting, favoriting tweets, tweeting @ your account, visiting your website, learning more, introducing them to your brand. Each of these things may eventually lead to your followers becoming clients.

What do you want to share with them?
The most important thing to know about sharing information on twitter is that you want to share timely and relevant content with your followers. This doesn't mean you can't be silly now and then (see the below tweet by ModCloth, a clothing retailer), but you generally want to cater to your audience. Relevant articles from trusted authorities, informative how-to videos, product photos, and funny jokes are all great to include in your daily tweeting regimen.

Tweets with rich media content (photos, videos, and article snippets) often get two or three times the engagement as regular tweets. Since Twitter doesn't automatically allow rich media in tweets, you will have to use a few workarounds here. Sign up for TwitPic and share YouTube videos under "Share This Video" by clicking the Twitter icon and following prompts.

What are Hashtags?
A hashtag is a word or set of words preceded by a pound sign, such as #socialmedia. Add them to your tweets to join a conversation on that topic!

How Often Do I Tweet?
Start out by tweeting 5 times per day. As you get more familiar with the platform, try different numbers and consult your analytics to determine the optimum number of tweets per day. 

How Do I Deal with Negative Tweets?
Not everyone will be a happy customer. Try to deal with these tweets by tweeting back at them immediately and directing them to an email address, live chat, phone number, or other forum for someone to address their complaint. Always stay polite and professional!

Good luck in the Twitterverse - we're rooting for you. Happy tweeting!

Tomorrow's #webinar with @LizCrawford - The Quantified Self

Join Liz Crawford this week as she explains how people are using technology more and more to track every aspect of their health, including caloric intake, steps, sleep patterns, blood pressure, and/or other health indicators. The Self-Tracking trend is mainstreaming now - and a tidal wave of apps and gadgets are flooding the market to meet this emerging need. But new personal databases of information, as well as the new tracking behavior itself, are changing consumers' demands on retailers, health providers and brands. This webinar will describe this trend, how it is manifesting itself, and who is participating. The session wraps up with implications for retailers and brands, as well as a vision for the future.

Click here to register for FREE (6-5-13 at 12:30pm EST)
About Liz Crawford: 

Liz Crawford has more than 20 years of brand management and consulting experience with a concentration in strategic innovation. Her concept and new product launch, Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner, won the prestigious Edison Award for New Products. Over the last few years, Crawford has focused on developing integrated Shopper Marketing strategies for Fortune 500 clients. 

Currently, she is an analyst and contributing writer for the Path to Purchase Institute, publisher of Shopper Marketing Magazine. Her book, The Shopper Economy is being released in April 2012 by McGraw-Hill.

Crawford’s clients have included: P&G, Safeway, Walgreens, Publix Supermarkets, Kraft, Pepsi, Nabisco, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, American Greeting, Mars Candy, Hershey, Newell Rubbermaid, Y&R, BBDO, CIBA Vision, Spanx, and Pirelli Tyres among others.

Click here to register for FREE (6-5-13 at 12:30pm EST)

You probably didn't know that roughly 60% of consumers are now tracking their dietary intake, health and workout routines?