Online Videos Can Impact Your Internet Marketing

Online videos add dimension to any website.  They can showcase a product or service in a way text and still-graphics simply cannot.  The adage, “A picture says a thousand words”, is absolutely true, but when it comes to on-line videos, I dare say that it’s safe to say, “A picture says a thousand words, but a video says a thousand more.”

How Can Videos Make A Difference?

Videos have great potential to impact your marketing efforts in positive ways; and here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • Videos add a human touch to your product—they provide a personal feel in a digital world.
  • Videos can contribute to higher conversion rates.
  • Videos afford increased exposure, especially when utilizing such popular, dominating platforms as YouTube.

The Forrester Research Report of January 2009 revealed that a video is at least 50 times more likely to produce a first-page Google ranking than conventional search engine marketing methods.  Additionally, videos will start to show in search engine results in days instead of months.  With that being said, the research is worth pondering and it just might behoove one to seriously consider embedding video(s) in one’s online site.

Implementing the Video Dimension:

A key element is adding that oh-so-rare personal touch; and that means appealing to your audience in a way that will enlist them and keep their attention.  The types of topics that are universally appealing are simple yet intriguing, are humble yet articulate and give a ‘down-home’ feel, such as:

  • Videos that provide ‘how-to’ advice on repairing, creating, solving, playing, organizing—whatever perspective would compliment your site’s product or service.
  • Videos that allow one to ‘meet’ those in your company who ‘make it happen’— there’s something about putting a human face to a business’ work-team.  It allows your on-line visitors to gain a sense of genuine connectedness—you become more ‘real’; and that transparency translates into consumers’ increased confidence and trust in you as well as your product or service; and that will, most definitely, influence conversion rates.
  • Videos that offer quiz snippets–for example, if your on-line business provides exotic animals for children’s parties, quiz snippets can capture attention and maintain a level of intrigue.  Here’s an example:  “Do you think our most exotic animal at your party will be: (a) a baby alligator (b) a kangaroo (c) a desert fox or (d) a 5’ boa constrictor?  Snippets should offer dramatic information, if at all possible, that gets one’s juices flowing, rousing a visitor to want to know more!

On-site tours or behind-the-scene interviews could serve as a video’s approach, as well—any topic that captivates a visitor’s interest and keeps it, while developing a feeling of intimacy at the same time.

The Needed Technical Side:

If you have successfully created your video, your production will need to be prepared in such a way that it can be indexed by search engines.  Once your video is uploaded to your website, you’ll need to submit it to Google or it will not be crawled and indexed as a regular page, which means it would fail to show up in search engine results.  You’ll want to take the necessary step of utilizing a media RSS feed to actively submit your video information or create a video sitemap which will provide guidelines for video content.  You must, also, create a robots.txt file and incorporate all your video pages to make sure Google is not restricted, and permit the search engine to rapidly authenticate your video content.  If this sounds too overwhelming, professionals like MMT Advertising, can help with this final step.

A bit of elbow grease, but the rewards will be worth the effort!

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Got a strong online marketing presence?  Keep following Nebraska’s retired educator, K. Carlson, and you will.

Marketing Research: Where To Spend Your Advertising Budget Online

advertising budgetInternet advertising offers proven ways to drive traffic, increase conversions and build your business. However, with so many methods and platforms from which to choose, deciding the best platforms to use can be a difficult process. Without a proper strategy, online advertising expenses can climb at an astounding rate. These platforms offer measurable results and affordable pricing to help you optimize your online advertising budget.

1. Google AdWords

Google AdWords offers an easy to use system with a full suite of analytics and planning tools to ensure your efforts stay within your advertising budget. The key to getting the most from AdWords is conducting thorough keyword research and utilizing all of the tools that Google makes available. Many businesses make the mistake of simply setting an inclusive AdWords list and launching their campaign. By researching the most cost-efficient keywords and utilizing exclusions and geo-targeting along with inclusive lists, you can hone your campaign to produce results with less investment.

2. Banner Advertisements

Banner advertisements are a great way to compliment any Internet marketing plan. Searching for sites within your niche or market will often yield a long list of potential sites that will allow banner advertisements to be displayed in various time intervals. Checking site statistics on sites such as Alexa can help to provide information on how popular the page is and how many impressions you can hope to obtain with a banner ad. Consider these factors in combination with pricing to find the best match for your advertising budget.

3. Article and Content Marketing

Sponsored posts and content marketing are one of the most affordable methods of advertising and gaining exposure. By positioning your articles or content in article databases or on prominent websites and blogs within your industry, you can gain massive boosts to traffic and exposure for your business at affordable rates. Site criteria for submitted content vary greatly. Should your business or marketing team lack writers, there are a number of content creation services and independent writers available on the Internet that can draft high-quality content at affordable prices.

4. Video Marketing

Rises in mobile web browsing and shifts in media consumption have led to a surge of interest in video content. Whether you are creating an advertorial, providing product information or going for the ultimate viral ad, video marketing offers outstanding potential for any business. Distributing videos through sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Metacafe offers great exposure for your ad. Should you desire targeted, cost-based video marketing, many video sites also sell slots that air before popular videos. However, these services often come at a premium price.

5. Facebook Advertisements

From businesses and charities to friends and family, it seems that every one is on Facebook. The platform also offers a comprehensive advertisement and post promotion system that allows you to generate targets, budgets and other criteria to ensure that your efforts stay within your allotted budget. Whether you are looking to create a larger social media following or simply promote your business, Facebook has plenty of tools to help. Facebook promotions and giveaways are also a pretty important part of the landscape these days.

Internet advertising can be a daunting experience. Without knowledge of how to use various formats and the best methods to choose, it is easy to spend a large sum of money with little results. These five options offer affordable, in-depth Internet advertising tools for businesses of any size or budget.

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About the Author : Julianne Parrish is a mother of one beautiful daughter. She loves spending time with her and catching up on reading otherwise. Julianne also likes reviewing sites like Optiva, which specialize in SpellBrite LED Signs.

Flight And Fright: When Advertising Goes Wrong

fight or flight responseSome may argue that adverts that cause a scandal are just as effective as ads that elicit feelings of goodwill. They certainly attract a lot of attention, but they are risky, as sometimes bad publicity is just that, and the damage to a brand’s reputations can be long-lasting, if not permanent.

One of the latest examples of controversial advertising comes from a Cape Town-based security company called Xpanda’s, which has released a radio advertisement that is causing heated debate in the industry. Xpanda’s brand has been defined through its satirical, risky and potentially offensive marketing campaigns, and the latest ad conforms to type.

As expected, a few people lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA), which found that there were no grounds upon which to order the ad be withdrawn.

Advertisements of this nature are nothing new; in fact, the world is bursting with politically incorrect advertisers trying desperately to avoid commercial oblivion. Some succeed, and some seriously cross the line.

Oy vey!

Xpanda’s radio advertisement depicts a dialogue between two cellmates. The manner in which the conversation takes place is more important than what is said. The black man speaks in a grungy, unsophisticated accent, the kind that suggests a lower intelligence and which is reserved for mocking “the black condition” in South Africa.

The second cellmate asks him what he’s inside for, to which the black man replies that he was so hungry he walked into a baas’s (term used by black people to describe ‘superior’ white men_ kitchen and stole a roast chicken. The upshot is that the madam (‘superior white woman) slammed the Xpanda door in his face so that he couldn’t escape. He ends up in jail, and didn’t even get the chicken.

As the stereotype goes, there are no bounds to what a black man would do for a taste of chicken.

ASASA’s ruling

ASASA determined that the skin colour of the actors in the commercial is immaterial to the plot, therefore finding no reason to prevent the company from airing the advertisement. In essence, despite the offence it caused some people, the ad is still considered to comply with the requirements of legality, decency, honesty, and truthfulness. It is not considered discriminatory, no matter what a fair number of people may think.

Xpanda is not alone

In typical South African fashion, many dispute the decision made by ASASA, but it must be pointed out that the Xpanda commercial is nothing new among advertisers on a global scale. Consider, for example, Pepsi Co’s Mountain Dew internet advertisement created by rapper Tyler. The video on the website showed a battered woman on crutches looking at a police lineup; while on the other side of a one-way-mirror, the goat (the accused) is standing in the lineup next to stereotypically thug-like-looking black men, saying intimidating things to her in typically gangster lingo. She ends up too scared to press charges. The video was taken off the website after multiple objections were raised over the racial stereotyping and mockery of abuse towards woman.

Advertising companies all over the world are cashing in on this scare tactic one way or the other, and the decision-making process to flight advertisements of this nature on television or online seems to have become less painful. The controversial advertisement might make consumers think twice about using their trusted brand, but the stir caused magnifies the companies’ exposure. The advertisement’s failure to appeal to people’s sensitivities directly leads to the company being the talk of the town, and thus greater brand awareness.

While the benefits of the fright factor are instant, the damage caused by the flighting of this kind of advertising can only be observed or calculated over a longer period of time. There is a possibility that, with time, the consumer’s trust and respect for a brand might gradually deplete due to a repetitive risky marketing strategy. In the end, all we can do is watch this space.

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Lindelwa Ndaba writes for a display brand specialist whose range of services includes exhibition stands for conferences, showroom displays, and trade shows.