Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Importance_Of_Internet_Marketing_-_Propel_Your_Business_Upward

Importance Of Internet Marketing – Propel Your Business Upward

The importance of internet marketing cannot be overstated. Whether your business is online or off, grasping the concepts of marketing online will help you propel your business to ever higher levels. The good thing is that many of the techniques you can use online are very inexpensive, or even free, to use and they can be used whether your business is an online or offline business.

Having said that though don’t think that it’s all sweetness and light. Learning how to effectively harness the huge resources of the internet and put it to work for you will take a little time and practice and that should be step one.

Find a course that can teach you the basics of marketing online. Your first order of business will be to learn how to drive targeted traffic to your website. Without traffic, or customers, you won’t have any type of business for very long.

There are many ways of driving traffic to a website and many of them are completely free. For example, you can use article marketing to get extremely targeted visitors to your website… all for free. All you have to do is determine what keywords to target

(I’ll give you a hint, you want a keyword phrase that has at least 1,500 searches a month and no more than 15,000 competitors). Once you’ve got your keywords you just have to write an article and include those keywords three to five times in the article. Once it’s written you can submit the article to the article directories where it will be published for free.

As long as you follow the article directories terms of service you will get published. This isn’t like submitting a book to some New York publisher and getting turned down over and over again. Follow the rules and get published, it really is that easy.

Another great technique for getting a lot of very qualified visitors to your website for free is with search engine optimization or SEO. This is just a way of using carefully chosen keywords in the code of your website so the search engines can find your site. It’s really not that hard to do and you can do it yourself in most cases. Just take a little time to learn the basics and you’ll be good to go (you can learn more in depth techniques if you want, but the basics are all you need for now).

More and more online marketers are realizing the benefits of using a blog platform for their website, and you should too. This is an excellent way to get a high search engine ranking and it’s all because you can quickly and easily add new content to your blog. When you do this you will be rewarded by higher rankings because you are giving the search engines what they want, fresh content.

All of these techniques can help you drive traffic to your website, it doesn’t matter if your business is online or offline, you still need to know how to drive targeted traffic to your website and that’s the importance of internet marketing. Take some time to learn these techniques, or hire someone who does and will do it for you, and you can really improve your bottom line.

What_Is_Blogging

What Is Blogging

It’s easy to get confused when it comes to the internet, it seems like there is a new fad popping up almost daily. Between Facebook, and Tweeting, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and while I don’t pretend to be an expert about all things internet, I can help answer the question: what is blogging?

Blogs started as online journals, a web log (blog). For the most part it started as a way for people to have their own website online and share their thoughts and expertise with anyone who might be interested. Over the last few years though more and more people have learned that having a blog can also help them make some money online.

There are many places where you can start a blog for free, some of the most popular are WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Squidoo.com, HubPages.com. If you want to learn more just do a search online. These places will allow you to set up your own blog for no charge.

The actual steps may vary somewhat from one place to another, but here is an overview of the basic steps you will take to set up your own blog:

1. First you will sign up, at that time you will be asked to pick out a name for your blog. It can be anything you want it to be, Cathy’s Kittens, or Sally’s Sewing, etc. Just pick something that you like and reflects the nature of your blog.

2. Once you’ve signed up you can pick out the theme you want to use. A theme is just the template for your blog. They come in all types of styles and you can find many of them for free. Just do a search for themes online and you’ll see what I mean.

3. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the theme and how it works. It’s not hard, but you want to be comfortable so you don’t miss out on any great options you may have.

4. Start making posts to your blog. Every time you write an article for your blog it’s called a post. Most blog themes will allow you to easily upload pictures, videos, and music. They will also have helpful features like spell check.

Once you’ve got your post looking just the way you want it, you can click on the ‘publish’ tab and your post will be uploaded to your blog so that all your visitors can read what you’ve written or look at your pictures.

These are the basic steps you will need to take when starting a blog. The important thing for you to remember is that if you are starting a blog as a business you will want to change out some of these steps:

1. The first thing you will want to do is to figure out what subject your blog is going to be about. This isn’t a difficult step but it is a vital one. When it comes to making money online with a blog, half the battle is picking the right niche market. Find a market that has a lot of people who are passionate about it… and who spend money on it, and you’re well on your way.

2. When you find a good niche market you can take a keyword related to that market and buy a domain name with that keyword in it. With a business blog you don’t want to use the free sites, you will want to buy a domain name and get a hosting account. I know this can sound overwhelming if you are new, but just take it one step at a time, it’s not that hard or that expensive. A hosting account and domain name will cost you around $30, maybe a little less.

3. At this point the process is basically the same as the above method. You just pick out a theme that reflects the topic of your website and start making posts.

I hope this overview has helped answer the question: what is blogging? Just get started and you’ll see how easy and fun it can be.

Blogging_Advice

Blogging Advice

If you’re like so many other people who’ve gotten the ‘blogging bug’, congratulations, you’re in for a lot of fun! People start their own blogs for many reasons, sometimes they just want to be able to share their life with family and friends far away, sometimes they like sharing their knowledge about one of their hobbies, and sometimes they want to make money. Whatever your reason for starting a blog, you’re going to want to start off on the right foot and get some great blogging advice, and that’s where this article can help.

Blogging isn’t a difficult thing to learn, as a matter of fact, most people can easily learn all they need to know in an hour or so. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you begin your online blogging adventure:

1. You can start your own blog for free. There are many blogging platforms that will host your blog for you for no charge, WordPress.com and Blogger.com are two of the most popular. Even with the free versions, you’ll still have access to hundreds of different designs, or themes, that you can use for your blog. You can also use plugins and widgets, basically just like apps for a smart phone, that will allow you to do many different things with your blog, these are usually also free.

2. The topic of your blog should be based on two major considerations: what do you love and whether or not you want to use your blog to start an online business. Sometimes these two things will overlap, your business blog can be about something that you love. Other times you won’t be able to make money with your hobby because there just aren’t enough other people who love that topic enough to pay for products related to it.

3. When you start your blog, especially a business blog, you will want people to return frequently and read your new posts. In order to keep them coming back you’ll want to make sure that you make your posts and the other information on your blog related to the topic of your blog. For example, if your blog is about gardening you really don’t want to start going off on tangents about all kinds of other topics. Occasionally it’s ok to stray a little bit but the bottom line is that the readers of your blog joined because they were interested in that topic, so give them what they want.

4. If you want to use your blog to make money and start a business you should consider buying your own domain name and get your own hosting account. Don’t worry if this sounds foreign to you, it’s easy and inexpensive enough. The reason this is important is that if you stick with the free versions you don’t actually own anything, not the name of your blog or that little piece of internet ‘real estate’ your blog sits on. That’s not a good way to structure your business. Buy your domain name and get your blog hosted and you will own it and you can decide what you want to do with it.

I hope this blogging advice has helped you a little bit. The most important thing to remember is that you should have fun with your blog. This is a great way to express yourself so make the most out of it.

Top 5 Revinate Blog Posts of 2017

Wow! It’s already the end of the year. What will 2018 hold? How will you win more bookings and build relationships with guests? As you prepare for a productive — and competitive — 2018, refresh your memory by reading our top blog posts from this year. You’ll learn about the trends that drove success, marketing best practices and how to use email to win reviews and increase guest satisfaction.

Guide to Email Marketing

Exclusive Interview: Current State of Marketing in the Hotel Industry with Tim Davis

How to Get More Reviews on TripAdvisor

[Infographic] The Email Marketing Cheat Sheet (Complete with Stats and Action Items)

10 Don'ts of Hotel Email Marketing

The post Top 5 Revinate Blog Posts of 2017 appeared first on Revinate.

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Track Exactly Who’s Watching Your Videos in Emails

Video in emailAs online video becomes increasingly popular, the methods you can use to distribute videos are increasing too. From social media channels, blog posts, NFC tags, QR codes; there’s any number of ways to get people to watch your video. Still, there’s something to be said for a good ol’ fashioned email. Despite the flak email gets these days, they’re still wide reaching, completely customizable and easy to automate.

Email marketing platforms already give you a lot of great information about who’s opened your email, who clicked through and who bounced, but what would happen if you could use your email marketing platform to get specific information about how viewers interacted with videos you’ve sent out in emails?

You’d be deafened by the thunderous roar of applause from your sales team, that’s what!

The good news is, if you have a Vidyard video player embedded on your landing page, I’ve got a trick you can use to associate a recipient’s viewing data with their email address.

Associating an individual’s viewing data with their email address allows you to later look them up in your video analytics by email to get a detailed view of what videos they watched and how long they watched for. You’ll be able to see their attention span per video with a heat map. It looks something like this:

email marketing toolWow! Jennifer Pepper sure loved this video! She watched dancing V-bot all the way to the end without any skipping. 

This is the kind of information you’ll want per lead to determine how interested they are in your content. In fact, if you know your lead has watched over 75% of an important piece of content in an email, you’ll know they’re still expressing interest based on attention span and that you’re safe to follow up again.

How can you track engagement in email like this?

The secret lies within a query string that we can use to identify the viewer by their email address. For example, suppose I have a landing page at the following URL:

http://www.vyexample.com/product-demo

When I send that as a link in an email, I can add the following query string to the URL.

http://www.vyexample.com/[email protected]

Using the vyemail query string allows me to check the viewer stats for the person with the email address [email protected]

This works great if you’re sending an email link to one person, but your email marketing tool can step in to make this work for a list of recipients.

Most tools have a token that can be used when you’re building the email that represents the recipients’ email addresses. It’s usually referred to as a merge tag. This tag acts as a placeholder in the email, then is replaced with the email address when it’s sent.

As an example, here’s what the URL above would look like in MailChimp:

http://www.vyexample.com/product-demo?vyemail=*|EMAIL|*How will this look like in your mail platform?

Here’s some of the others:

PlatformMerge tagSalesforce (custom email template)vyemail={!Contact.Email}vyemail={!Lead.Email}MailChimpvyemail=*|EMAIL|*Constant Contactvyemail=$SUBSCRIBER.EMAIL$ExactTargetvyemail=%%emailaddr%%Marketovyemail={{lead.Email Address}}Emmavyemail=[% member:email default=”email” %]

Give it a try the next time you send out an email with a link to a Vidyard video.

Do you have an email platform that’s not listed? Let us know what the merge tag is you used in the comments!

Tracking engagement like this can alert you to prospects that are particularly interested in your brand because of how much time they spend with your content, or how much they consume in general. If you suspect Sam from Major Company XYZ has been checking out a ton of your content, now you can confirm it! Give it a go.

The post Track Exactly Who’s Watching Your Videos in Emails appeared first on Vidyard.

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The Attention Economy: Why Marketers Are Killing, Not Capturing, Attention

There’s a principle in economics that lies at the heart of how the entire economy works: scarcity.

Scarcity is the simple concept of something being in short supply. It’s the idea that there is not enough supply of some resource to meet the demand of that resource.

supply and demand graphWe face scarcity when there are no bananas left at the grocery store, when we wait in line for hours to snag the newest iPhone, or when we want to go to yoga and walk the dog, but there’s only 1 hour left in the evening. Scarcity is everywhere. We even face scarcity when we want our partner’s attention, but they’re all-consumed in their devices.

As marketers, we face scarcity when we want the attention of our audience, but are competing with thousands of other marketers, companies, people, and things for that finite resource.

While all this may sound a little grim, and like we’re in a constant battle for, well … everything. Scarcity isn’t a bad thing. It’s what makes the world go round, it’s one of the principles that drives our economy and how prices for goods and services are set. Without scarcity, no one would ever pay for anything. There would be an infinite supply of everything, no one could make money, which means we couldn’t exchange it for goods and services. But then, why would we need to, if there was an endless supply of everything? Theoretically, no one would go hungry either, but I digress.

One thing’s for sure: the nature of scarce resources is nothing to be afraid of. Even when it comes to our audience’s attention.

The Scarcity of Attention

In recent years, the explosion of information at our fingertips has led to the ultimate battle for attention. There are a wealth of attention demands that didn’t previously exist: advertisers want your attention before you watch the next video on YouTube; your friends want your attention on SnapChat, Facebook, and text; and your colleagues and every marketer out there want your attention in your inbox.

But there’s only so much attention to go around; whether it’s yours or your prospects’.

“We each have only 24 hours in the day.  Where we choose to allocate this attention will increasingly determine who creates economic value and who destroys economic value.” – John Hagel, Co-Chairman, Centre for the Edge, Deloitte

Unfortunately, the recent incline in attention scarcity doesn’t only come from these increasing demands on our attention … it also comes from a decline in supply, as well. That decline comes in the form of attention spans, which has fallen from an average attention span of 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the last 15 years. This is, more than likely, due to the increasing demands on an average adult’s attention all day long.

attention economy 2016

We are facing a gigantic attention scarcity.

But marketers need attention. Without it, you can’t explain all the pain points you solve and you certainly can’t move them down the funnel.

So what do we do? What’s the secret to securing the last bunch of bananas when there are five other potassium-starved shoppers approaching at exactly the same speed as you? Or (maybe more relevant to your current situation) capture your prospects’ attention?

Do you scream louder? Or more frequently? That’s what most marketers do. But most marketers are looking at it all wrong, and actually exacerbating the problem.

Why Marketers Are Looking at it All Wrong

You’re working so hard to drive more pipeline and catch as much attention as you can possible get that you’re actually, maybe, potentially (no really), making the problem worse. Not better.

Just take email as an example: the average person receives 85 business emails per day. That’s a lot. And marketing emails are part of that. But those marketing emails only see click-through rates of 1.5%.

That means that when we email 10,000 people, 150 click through, on average. And we’ve come to accept this, somehow.

But in order to meet our pipeline goals, we need more than 150 interactions with our content, so we compensate. Marketers send more emails so they can boost the opportunity for engagement with potential customers.

But more emails, means more attention demand in the short-term, and less attention supply in the long-term, which puts us right back where we started.

In other words, we end up with a cyclical process called the Attention Resource Cycle:

attention resource cycle

The presence of competing messages and naturally low attention spans is feeding itself and it isn’t going away any time soon. Sending more and more messages just adds to the problem. So is the answer going radio silent? Of course not, because you need attention before you can even begin to hope to drive pipeline.

The answer lies in how you are trying to capture that attention.

How Marketers Can Conquer Attention Scarcity

It’s critical now, more than ever, to look for new ways to compete by getting more out of each contact with your audience. Look to produce high-impact communications that grab attention with true interest from your audience. This means you’re not looking to use gimmicky “re: … “ or “FWD: …” subject line stuff, no ALL CAPS, or “act now or else we’ll steal your Cheerios”. You’re looking for more.

The ideal attention-grabbing marketing communications piece follows this equation:

equation attention communication

But with the current shortage of attention supply and all-time high of attention demand, many marketers are struggling to achieve even the first part of this equation.

The answer lies in a person’s name.

Gone are the days of marketing to personas as a whole. I work in content marketing and surely one of you reading works in content marketing, but chances are your job and my job are different in some ways. And more importantly, you and me as people, are probably very different.

[callout-content text=”How B2B Marketers Can Drive More Pipeline with Personalized Video” is_modal=”true” modal_id=”personalized-video-guide” modal_type=”Guide” modal_form_handler=”https://go.pardot.com/l/31612/2016-01-14/5ymsp2″ button=”Get the Guide”]

So why would marketers think that something that grabs and holds your attention would do the same for me?

2016 is the time for hyper-personalized marketing. It’s time to treat you, me, and every prospect as individuals.

personalized marketing

Personalized marketing first originated with names in emails. Remember when it was a novelty to use “Hi ” and see your own name at the beginning of an email? Your own name!

That concept was so wildly successful because people crave personal connection and recognition. In fact, a personalized email is still more effective than a generic one today. According to Aberdeen, personalized emails see 14% higher click-throughs than non-personalized emails.

And all the fuzzy-feels seem to trickle through to on-page conversions as well with 10% higher conversions than non-personalized emails. But there’s more to personalization than just merging someone’s name in an email, offering them a new piece of content based on their job title, or even customizing a web page based on their industry.

Today, there’s a great trend towards individualization or hyper-personalization.

This is where content is truly customized for each individual person – on a mass scale – and brings them into the story you’re telling. It’s where the entire experience with your brand feels truly like you’re getting to know your prospects and building a one-to-one relationship.

The future of marketing … your future … depends on this ability to build a connection and hold your share of the attention supply.

personalized video pipeline

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How to Streamline Your Video Content Marketing Operation

Just as your blog needs regular updates to build an audience or subscriber base, great video marketing also depends on consistency and frequency. But how do you create great videos time and time again? Well, similar to how you can streamline other content creation initiatives, churning out great videos requires that you learn a particular, scalable workflow.

Whether you’re working on episodic content in a series, or simply creating videos on an as-needed basis, the whole idea of commitment to a regular schedule could be scaring you away – but it shouldn’t! By promising your audience new videos on a regular basis, you can gain a valuable subscriber base who are loyal to your brand and help share your messages.

Although every organization will differ based on resources devoted to video, if you use the following 8 steps as a guide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a video content marketing machine (it takes some work, but it’s less intimidating with every asset you make!).

Step 1: Plan Your Upcoming Topics and Scope

This muppet has the wrong idea.As you get started with video, it’s easy to think “we’re going to make everything and be amazing for everybody!”. As enthusiastic as this is, it’s unrealistic and you shouldn’t try to boil the ocean (sorry, muppet, that’s a terrible approach).

Instead, get strategic and determine:

What topics will you cover and for whom (Consider if there are competitors in your space doing a particular subject really well. Should you cover a different niche?)What value will your videos deliver to your target (are they primarily educational? Are they pointing to other useful/downloadable assets? Are they intros to people on your team? What’s in your mix and what purpose does each video serve?)Will you deliver repeatable “segments” that audiences can look forward to?

After you’ve decided on the unique purpose you’ll serve and how you’ll do this, make a list of all of the videos you’d like to make in a quarter. Look at what kinds of videos perform well in your industry and consider variations you can do on these topics that pertain to your target audience. If your audience gets their SEO news from a particular source, consider what that site is doing especially well and mimic how they deliver their content. Pick a content hero and study their ways like a jedi; the key is choosing a site that’s not a competitor, but successfully targets the same audience as you. Look to partners in your space!

As an example, if you’re in the business of marketing automation platforms, your video topic list might look like this:

A possible list of topics is a good place to start

As a rule of thumb, if it makes a good blog post, you could probably turn it into an informative short video (or make a video component to add to a blog post!).

Step 2: Build a Realistic Timeframe per Video Project

timeframeAfter topics, you’ll want to consider your scope. In other words:

How many videos can you actually create in a month or a quarter given your other content objectives, budget, and resources?

If you have an in-house videographer, you could be creating a video per week – it just depends on the complexity of that video. A simple, talking-head style interview can be shot and edited within a week, but a complex creative campaign or videos requiring motion graphics will likely take longer. Each videographer will also have a different workflow to be aware of.

Build a list of video types and get your videographer to give you an approximation of how much time a given concept should take (i.e. what’s the production time – including editing – for an animated short versus a live action video?) This will help you when scheduling realistic timelines and  campaigns.

Additionally, implement key learnings as you go. In other words, don’t plan a new video interview series with 10 assets in it, start with just 4 or 5. This lets you to gain experience with producing videos, but it also gives you the opportunity to assess each video’s performance with the resulting engagement data. If your target audience bails ten seconds into all of the videos, take the time to determine if it’s your topic or style of production that isn’t working out and modify future content accordingly.

Step 3: Create an editorial calendar scheduling video releases

Video-content-calendarWhen you know what videos you want to make, and when you can have the assets, map the schedule of video content to an editorial calendar; it can be the same calendar you use to plan your blog. Ensure everyone involved in the video process can see it, and that there’s some buffer time built in for feedback before a video goes live. It might be a good idea to build in pre-production time and post-production into your calendar too. It’s up to you and how granular you want to get.

You could schedule using a combo of Trello and a Google Calendar, or even use content marketing software like Kapost.

Step 4: Coordinate the Extra Assets Needed for Video Campaigns (and Decide Where Videos Will Live)

While you might be uploading videos to YouTube and calling it a day, YouTube alone isn’t a video content strategy and embedding content on your own website with a video marketing platform presents a ton of benefits. Before filming a video, decide where it will live on your site (A video resource hub? Your homepage? In a blog post? On it’s own dedicated landing page?). If creating a content campaign around a high-level asset, be sure to coordinate the following for a successful launch:

The video’s script (and the required approvals)landing page (can be built specifically for the video campaign, or you can use a video resource hub)Social promo images (for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and retargeting ads, etc.)Email marketing images (for including the video release in your newsletter, or other emails)A custom call to action frame for the end of the videoA custom video thumbnail image

Overall, put some time into how you’ll present the video on your website and how the page where it lives contribute to the video’s overall goals (i.e. lead generation, brand awareness, etc.). For more info on what a dedicated video landing page should include, see this post.

Step 5: Write Your Scripts (or Rough Outlines)

create concise scriptsSome video types might not require scripts, it all depends. If certain product-based B2B videos (like a tour of your platform) require a script, or your announcing something important, etc., you can create a set of structured talking points to guide your on-screen talent. Here’s some quick considerations:

Keep it short! One page of double-spaced bullet points usually creates a video that runs from 60-90 secs, depending the size of type and amount of dialogue. You’re aiming to make videos (for the top of the funnel) that range from 60-90 seconds in length, ideally, as these maintain attention the best in the discovery phase of the buying cycle.For customer testimonials, create rough questions: Instead of classic Q&A for interviews of any kind, ask leading questions like “Tell me about a time when you _____…” – these questions deliver more valuable story-based feedback.Use simple, conversational language – being too jargon-y or complicated is a surefire way to lose your audience right away with video. Always make things clear and concise to maintain attention for longer.Step 6: Book/organize your video shoot logistics

Sometimes creative ideas require filming in different locations, but whether you’re filming in your office or on location based on a story you’re hoping to tell (maybe it’s a customer testimonial in their office), book your location, confirm with your videographer, and look out for things like:

Fans and overhead noise: Sometimes air conditioning or pipes will produce a buzz or humming at your location and can ruin your audio.Windy locations outdoors: You might not even hear the wind at your outdoor shoot, but the mic will pick it up. Adequate Light: is there enough light in the space or should you bring some equipment?Step 7: Edit, Build in Feedback Time, and Define Feedback Rules

Edit videosNot all video projects require a first cut, but it’s often a good idea to get the video edited to a certain ‘presentable-as-is’ point and then solicit some feedback from key stakeholders. Sometimes jokes fall flat, or boring parts of a video emerge and it’s necessary to cut or modify this stuff before your video goes live. Test your video with teammates, and those in your target audience and make final adjustments as needed.

Depending on how far along you are in the process it’s a good idea for your videographer to define the feedback rules in this phase. (I.e. “the story/content is set in stone, we’re just looking for any concerns with audio or song choice at this point in the game, thanks!”).

Step 8: Release, Promote, and Measure!

When you’ve got an approved video asset, build up a beautiful launch email with customer-focused copy and send it to a targeted list. Remember, use an image of the video’s custom thumbnail in the email and redirect viewers to your website or blog post where the video is actually located. Getting folks over to your site (where they’ll encounter more of your strategic video marketing and CTAs) is a key way to drive folks through the funnel.

Promote and MeasureAfter promoting on all relevant social channels and some targeted LinkedIn groups (where your target audience live), start reviewing video analytics to determine your performance. Look at how much time individuals spend on average with a video, and take a look at video data within your CRM contact records to see which leads have watched a certain threshold of video content. If someone’s watched 3 product videos all the way to the end, they might be qualified for a call from your sales team.

Overall, use your resulting video engagement data to determine not only your audience preferences, but which types of videos they actually enjoy watching and which should continue to make up a huge portion of your video strategy. Custom Salesforce reports can even let you know which videos are influencing won deals!

Following these eight steps should set you on the path toward some excellent, regular video releases for your brand. If you have any questions, or want to share some steps you’ve perfected at your company, leave a comment below!

The post How to Streamline Your Video Content Marketing Operation appeared first on Vidyard.

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How to use Video in your Email Marketing Campaigns

Email campaigns are a great way to share your video marketing content, but you might still be a bit unsure about how to include video effectively. In this post, I’ll share some tips and tricks to help you go video—adding the special sauce that can really amp up your nurturing campaigns.Use video in your email campaigns

The Top Question about Video in Email Marketing

A lot of people ask me “Ian, can I stream video playback in an email?”. The answer to this question is sort of. The image below outlines which email clients support video, but as you’ll notice, you have to be careful with this pie chart. Because the two major email clients (Outlook and Gmail) do not support video playback, you have to get a bit creative to give your readers an interactive video experience

(Image courtesy of VideoEmail.com)

(Image courtesy of VideoEmail.com)

That said, here are my 4 tips to work around the playback challenge and incorporate video in your emails:

1. Within your email, include an image from your video and put a “play button” over top of it to mimic the look of a typical video player: With the addition of this pseudo-play button, you’re adding a visual indication that a video is part of your email. When readers are prompted with this “button,” they’ll click the image and be directed to a landing page—or a branded video sharing page—with your video embedded. Using a compelling image to link readers to your video content within email in this way works really well to increase click-through rates.

You can also use a GIF instead of a static image; however, you should make sure to choose an ideal first image for the GIF in case the email client does not support GIFs (darn Outlook), and freezes at the first image.

video image within an email campaign

2. Embed video on your landing page and set it to auto-play: Because you’re technically redirecting folks to a landing page with your video embedded, you’ll want to catch their attention right away and auto-play is a surefire way to do this (it also requires less clicks from your viewers).

3. As a general guideline, your video should be 30-90 seconds for top of funnel campaigns and 1-30 minutes for individuals further down the funnel: Since attention spans will vary depending on a prospect’s progression through the sales funnel, you’ll want to make sure your emails, and the videos within those email campaigns, are highly targeted.

When sending messages to top-of-funnel leads, the associated video should be short and sweet. You can gloss over product details or even skip them entirely—the whole point is to attract new contacts and guide them into the sales funnel.

For prospects you’re targeting who are further along in the funnel, consider including videos to answer questions you know they have about the product, detailed product demos, or personalized videos about how the product solves problems within their industry.

4. Place a call to action during, or at the end of the video that suggests a clear next step for your audience:If you’ve managed to get your readers to become viewers, you’ll definitely want to direct them to more content they might like, encourage them to share the video with social buttons, or have them fill out an Eloqua form at the end of the video. Building a call to action can be as simple as prompting viewers to “download our white paper” or as strategic as including a contact form at the end of a video. A form can collect even more details to push into your marketing automation or CRM contact records for future lead nurturing and segmentation. Here’s an example CTA I built for the end of a video:

My video call to action

You can also check out this post for some best practices when it comes to video CTAs, along with a few examples for your inspiration.

Tracking & Measuring your campaign

You can send as many emails as you want, but if you aren’t tracking responses, you won’t know if your videos are effective or not. All email marketing systems can tell you who’s clicked on your email, and which links they clicked within the email – video or otherwise. Tracking beyond this info is where things get more interesting.

If you’re using Vidyard’s all-in-one video marketing platform, you can track not only who watches the video, but how long each individual viewer watched the video and where they dropped off or lost interest. For instance, if Steve watches our home page video, but never returns to our site, it’s safe to assume he was not as engaged with our content as Monica, who watched our Eloqua integration video, visited our blog, and watched more video content on our Viewtopia® hub.

Capture new leads with forwarded emails

If someone really likes your email/video they may forward it to a friend. If their friend’s contact information isn’t stored in your marketing automation or customer relationship management system, you’ll want to make sure there’s some way for this new contact to put up their hand and request more information.

Vidyard offers email gates that can be added before the video plays and customizable calls-to-action that follow the video wherever it’s viewed. Optimizations like these can help you capture lead data anywhere your video goes, and it’s important to have this sort of strategy for capturing information from viewers who want to self-identify as interested prospects.

Easily Creating Video for Email

While recording and sharing video through email hasn’t always been easy, new tools like Vidyard Go Video (formerly ViewedIt) have emerged to allow marketers, support professionals, and salespeople to take advantage of this powerful medium.

Vidyard Go Video is a free Chrome plugin that allows you to record your screen, a specific tab or your camera and then automatically attaches your recording to an email in Gmail or Google Apps. You’ll be able to see who watched the content, how much, and whether they re-watched any portions of the content. Analytics like these provide valuable information for your nurture campaigns, allowing you to target prospects who seem interested in what you have to say. Not to mention that, in addition to being the perfect tool for quickly sharing a video voicemail with a potential customer in your marketing campaigns, Go Video can also be great for putting together a walk-through to answer a support inquiry or sending out a CEO update or internal news to your team.

Oh, the places your video will go!

What if someone likes your content so much that they publish it elsewhere (blog, press, social media etc.)? Or if they use your video within re-published content? Well, the same functionality will apply. You still get all the data, lead generation, and the built-in calls to action regardless of where your video ends up out on the Internet. This applies to YouTube annotations as well as Vidyard’s calls-to-action.

If you’ve decided to go video in your email campaigns, how’s it working? How are you tracking your success? What’s your average click-through rate when you include videos? Tell me in the comments below – I’d love to hear about what’s working and if you find these tips helpful!

Psst…if you’re interested in learning more about video marketing, you should check out our totally awesome, totally FREE video marketing eCourse! It covers all the basics of video marketing in an easy-to-digest, informative, and—dare we say, even fun—format. We’ve learned a thing or two in our years in the video industry and now we want to empower YOU to succeed with your video marketing strategy. Check it out here!

And that’s not all…discover more tips and 7 other types of videos to use in your video marketing strategy with the Video Marketing Strategy Handbook!

The post How to use Video in your Email Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Vidyard.

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Give Your Email Marketing a Video Boost with the Vidyard App for ExactTarget

As a direct line to your customer, email is perfect for communicating with your target market, but it can be pretty static. Templates and witty copy can jazz things up a bit, but the real magic happens when you add video.

Adding video to your email marketing has been known to increase click through rates by up to a staggering 96%, and that’s why, with our latest integration with ExactTarget, we focused on making it even easier for email marketers to grab readers’ attention and turn viewers into customers.

After a lot of hard work and dedication from our terrific team, today we’re really excited to announce that ExactTarget customers can now download the Vidyard app in HubExchange.

Our app enables you to drag and drop compelling visual links to your video content into your email and give your campaigns a boost with an interactive experience.

Add video to email campaigns

After including your link, you can track in-depth analytics on who views your video and how much they watch or re-watch. Also, similar to our app for HootSuite, when you update any of your video content, the changes are reflected across every place the video has been embedded, so you won’t have to worry about stale content in ExactTarget emails campaigns you’ve sent out.

Track individual viewing data

We’re psyched to be able to offer email marketers an integrated way to drive business with video, and we really hope you find the app helpful.

Try it out, send some videos to your mailing lists, tell your brand story, and let us know what you think!

The post Give Your Email Marketing a Video Boost with the Vidyard App for ExactTarget appeared first on Vidyard.

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Advantages_of_Link_Building_Programs

Advantages of Link Building Programs

You can go about building links to your website manually, hire someone to do it for you, or you can take advantage of link building programs. The first method can be very cheap in terms of monetary value, but very expensive in terms of precious time. This is why many look into the latter options of either hiring a service to handle this aspect of their business, or using one of the link building programs or software, or both.

It’s not a bad idea to start out doing things on your own at first, so you can obtain a general understanding of how it all works. But as you go on, you may very well decide that you are ready to invest in some sort of help for your link building. When you are going through the slow and tedious process of manually gathering incoming links throughout the internet, you will likely realize that your ability to efficiently maximize your website’s success potential is limited. How will you compete with the sites that have thousands of links if you can only do yours one at a time. The answer is you can patiently do it and just wait out the years that it will take you, or you can seek a faster way.

Link building programs come in different shapes and sizes. They offer different time-saving aspects in regards to your link building efforts and many of them are even free. Here are just a few of the ones that are around today.

Link Building Solutions offers a one-way link building plan which is rather unique, and it is also free. Only high-quality websites are accepted into the network and the program currently has 173 of them. It works like this: each qualified member of the program agrees to link to other members within the same program, but these are only one-way links. These sites that you link to do not require a link back.

The HandSubmit One-Way Links Program has been around since 1998 and prides itself on doing modern-time business with old-fashioned ethics. All the web sites included in the program are genuine, and backed by hard-working marketers. The company’s motto is “Old-fashioned service on the new frontier.” This program costs $175.00 earch year.

Link Dominators is a program that sells you one-way links for 13 cents each. It also posts content on your behalf on various blogs, pings, and submits RSS feeds.

Another tool is called the Fast Directory Submitter, and this too is free. With this tool, you put in your site profile and description just one time and then submit your site to over 2,000 directories.

Comment Kahuna, also one of the free link building programs, allows you to semi-automate your posts on blogs. You can choose your blogs with the help of the software’s rank displaying feature so that you only choose those that are of a certain rank, or on a certain platform.