Personalizing Your YouTube Channel To Promote Your Business

Posted by on Oct 13, 2009 in Social Media Marketing | 4 comments

YouTube is a video sharing site that gives its users the ability to upload and view videos online. The obvious benefit of using YouTube is that videos have the potential of becoming viral, getting passed from website to website, e-mail to e-mail or even from one blog to the next. According to Nielsen/NetRating, YouTube consistently ranks in the top 10 of all websites; therefore having a well optimized and personalized channel on YouTube can give you incomparable exposure for your products and services on the internet. What is a YouTube Channel? In simple terms a channel is a name for a user’s profile which other users can access to see which videos you have uploaded, subscribe to your videos and see which your favorite are. The obvious benefit of using a channel is that it can be personalized to reflect the personality of your products and services. Here is how you can personalize your channel; Channel Info – Here you can enter your title and description for your channel page. Personalizing this section can help you optimize your videos so that they get found when people search for related videos. Channel Design – this is where you can change the look and feel of your channel. You can select a color scheme that suits your products and services that you are trying to promote. Personal Info – This section lets you enter personal information to be displayed on your channel. You can use this section to provide information about the products and services you are trying to promote. Location Info – This is where you enter the location of your business. It is essential to also enter your ZIP codes. Vlog (Video Blog) – Lastly you can also create a personal video journal that will be accessible to anyone visiting your...

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Having a website is not enough

Posted by on Oct 13, 2009 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on Having a website is not enough

A couple of years ago by having a website was enough.  A simple “online brochure” with basic information regarding your company and a basic contact form was the norm.  Those days by having a plain website was enough to get noticed by others.  Yes, those were the old days of the web and you were considered professional by just having one.  The web changed tremendously since then, look at Web 2.0!  Recent statistics shows that there’s more than 226 million websites found on the internet and the number is growing fast.  The internet has grown much more crowded and competitive than the days when having a website was enough.  Every successful business is on the web – or at least should be.  How do you increase your visibility online so that you can stand out from the crowd? First of all, you have to be creative and understand your audience before you can tackle this topic. The web is powerful business tool if utilized correctly.  Once you begin to understand this, the online possibilities are endless.  Your website is a online marketing tool. Every website should have a focus point and a set of objectives.  Here is a couple – increase brand awareness, increase your visibility, sales leads, solutions, etc.  Find below a couple of tips to help you make your website stand out from the masses. Attract There’s millions of websites on the web.  Each websites needs a plan to attract buyers.  Traffic to your website can originate from organic SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing (Web 2.0), referral traffic or even affiliate marketing. Interact with your visitors The days are over where marketing messages only gets shoved into the public.  People want to engage and interact with what they are reading and interested in.  By simply posting your name on your website isn’t enough.  Successful businesses are moving into Social Media with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging.  Other options also includes opt in email marketing. Conversions Every website should have a conversion part or selling sequence built in. This is not just having a call to action (CTA).  It is your sales strategy for a lead or a business call. By simply contacting your website design company that you would like a new design for your website isn’t enough.  You need to create a solid business plan with a set of objectives for your website.  What do want to accomplish with your website?  Your website is not a simple advertising piece.  It is much more than that. Leave a comment below if you require additional information regarding this...

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Design for search engines but write copy for your customers.

Posted by on Oct 12, 2009 in Online Marketing | Comments Off on Design for search engines but write copy for your customers.

 A good website should have well-written, readable, easy-to-navigate pages that aren’t ‘ over loaded’ with keywords to attract ‘searches’ but written with the reader in mind. When selling the benefits need to be explained and your USP’s (unique selling points) for your product or service and most importantly explain what you would like your customer/visitor to do next. Back to Search Engine Marketing – you’ve identified the customers you want to target, you’ve got a ‘search engine friendly’ website and your ‘content’ is written for your visitor – how do you increase new and return ‘traffic’ to your website? There are two distinct ways of doing this: 1. ‘Organic’ search whereby potential customers find your website in the Search Engine Results Pages without you having to spend a cent on advertising. Organic or ‘natural’ search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance and ‘match’ to the search terms used. It is accepted that users click (organic) search results more often than adverts (72%) but it is also accepted that most people rarely venture further than the first page of search results making it imperative that your business is as far up the ‘rankings’ as possible and preferably in the first 10 spots 2. Using Google adwords. The simplest method to understand, but not necessarily the simplest to implement is the advertising or PPC (Pay per Click) approach. With Pay-Per-Click advertising – you only pay when a potential customer clicks on your advert. The price that you pay per ‘click’ is based on the popularity of the key words that you select and ‘purchase’. Although it is possible to manage your own PPC campaigns it is often more cost-effective to use an Internet Marketing Company that specialises in ‘paid search’ advertising to manage your campaigns and undertake to follow a ‘test and learn’ approach or ongoing split testing. Leading search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, use web crawlers (also known as ‘bots’ or ‘spiders’) to find pages based on search results. Assuming you have applied ‘search engine essential’ to make your site ‘search engine friendly’ and that you have a critical mass of back links (Linking Strategy)from other relevant websites then you need to concentrate on content marketing. Content can be text, images or video but it needs to be relevant and engaging and it needs to be regularly updated. Don’t stress – you probably have a lot of this content already ‘in-house’ and it just needs to be re-written and edited for the web. Content can consist of existing sales brochures, press releases and short articles by in-house experts, video, whitepapers or presentations used at conferences or trade-shows. The importance of good content mustn’t be underestimated as apart from the fact that good relevant content will bring ‘searchers’ to you it is that same content that will engage the visitor when they arrive at your site and one of the best strategies is to have ‘landing pages’ created by SEO experts so that a prospective customer will land on the page providing the information being looked for at the exact time they are looking when clicking on a PPC ad or using the relevant key words contained there in.. One great way of succinctly answering all of those questions is with...

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Writing Good Copy for the Web

Posted by on Oct 8, 2009 in Copywriting | Comments Off on Writing Good Copy for the Web

Producing good copywriting for the web environment can be an arduous and time-consuming process. The following four copywriting tips should help you: Write ‘Outside Yourself’ Place yourself in your audience’s shoes by reading your draft copy from their persepctive. Ask yourself if it makes sense. Does it read well? By this I mean your writing should flow smoothly from point to point so that your readers don’t lose interest. Does the web copywriting include the necessary information needed for the reader to commit to the desired action? Don’t Waffle On If a sentence is more than 25 words, eliminate the unneeded words or break it into two shorter sentences. Replace long words and awkward phrases with more simple variants. Why say “do not” when you can simply say “don’t”? Edit your work properly Any copywriter worth his/her salt knows that to rely on the Spellchecker tool on MS Word is simply not enough. You may use contractions and an informal tone if it’s appropriate to your copy. But banish the dreaded passive voice, all grammatical errors and any incorrect formatting. Proofread Read your work aloud away from your workstation. You will be able to hear mistakes you may have missed by reading it quietly to yourself at your desktop. Typing errors are unacceptable and should be avoided at all...

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How To Use LinkedIn Effectively

Posted by on Oct 8, 2009 in Social Media Marketing | Comments Off on How To Use LinkedIn Effectively

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 40 million members and growing. LinkedIn gives its users the opportunity to explore various online business opportunities, establish a professional business profile, stay in touch with workmates and friends. However most small to medium size businesses in South Africa seem to be missing the bandwagon, so I have compiled a list of ways in which they can use LinkedIn to add value to their businesses Learn & Share – With LinkedIn you can ask or answer questions. You can also connect with relevant groups to discuss matters that pertain to your business. Search for job candidates – This can be done based on references from recommenders. You should consider hiring candidates with lots of good recommendations Networking opportunities – LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to connect with potential business partners for instance you can search for potential suppliers or distributers of your products and services. The smart thing about LinkedIn is that your network members can recommend connections to you. Brand Building & search engine visibility – Your LinkedIn profile will be presented in the search results every time someone searches for your name. This will improve your search engine visibility and help you with online brand building. Industry events – LinkedIn will let you know of relevant events taking place in your industry such as tradeshows, conferences, and training events. This will keep you in the loop and...

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Survey: Social Media readiness for businesses

Posted by on Oct 8, 2009 in Surveys | Comments Off on Survey: Social Media readiness for businesses

Social Media Marketing is at the forefront of online marketing if done correctly.  Many companies wants to embrace this new trend but doesn’t know how this will affect them.  Find below a short survey on if your company is ready to adopt social media.  This survey is solely intended to give you an overview on the kinds of things that will affect your company’s ability to take advantage of social media. I will release the results of the survey on 30 October 2009 so check back or bookmark this page to be notified about the results.  Alternatively, leave a comment below and tick the check box “Notify me of followup comments by email” at the bottom of the comments on this page....

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Landing Page Tips

Posted by on Oct 8, 2009 in Copywriting | Comments Off on Landing Page Tips

Designing a great landing page should be on top of your priority list if you want your website visitors converted into customers. While a great looking website can grab the attention of your visitors, a strong landing page will keep them involved and get them to buy your products/services. Wikipedia defines a landing page as: “The page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link. The page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link, and that is optimized to feature specific keywords or phrases for indexing by search engines.” Optimizing a landing page: Keep your landing page content relevant A landing page’s content should be directly related to the organic search engine results or PPC campaign. If people don’t get what they expect, they will be more likely to leave. Have more than one landing page Having product/service specific landing pages embedded in your website will help you target traffic and render better conversion results. Keep your landing page functional Focus on function more then your landing page design. Obviously design is important, however, if you want to convert your website visitors it is better to focus on the usability of your landing page. Visitors should be able to get through your landing page in a few easy steps in order to reach the desired call to action. Call to Action You got visitors to your landing page, now direct them to take action. Make it clear and highly noticeable without overwhelming your audience. Whether it’s a sign-up form or a “buy now” button, make it the focus of your page. Avoid Clutter Focus on a clean landing page. Avoid flashy banners and instead make use of  bolding relevant keywords and call to actions. Make it easy for your website visitors to see what you are offering with bulleted lists – get right to the point. Convert them with a Unique Selling Point Offer your visitors incentive with a ‘free trial run’ an Ebook or a free whitepaper. Show them why your deal is better than your competitions. It is a good idea to have testimonials from clients who have used your...

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Using Twitter To Grow Your Business

Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in Social Media Marketing | Comments Off on Using Twitter To Grow Your Business

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s followers. Twitter may have started as a micro-blogging service; however, it has grown into much more than a simple social gizmo to a powerful business tool. Here is how you can use twitter to improve your business Always put a link back to your website from your tweets. You can use your twitter updates  to ask your followers about their opinion on your products/services or how you can improve Always follow & network with like minded people as you are likely to bounce ideas off each other Twitter gives you free publicity for your business How to get people to follow you on twitter Always post sensible tweets that are related to your industry Complete your one-line bio. This will give more information about your business to people looking to follow you Follow others they are most likely to follow you in return. Add twitter to your other social media profiles, blog or website. You can leverage this audience to increase your...

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Combining Old and New Marketing Strategies

Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in Online Marketing | 1 comment

Whether a business wants to expand its products or services, or introduce new ones, success depends on how effectively it promotes itself via marketing. Marketing’ is all about deciding who your customers are, what they want and then developing a cunning plan to sell your products or services to them make money in the process. In the past, this primarily meant creating a brand name and promoting a product via print, television, radio and possibly direct mail campaigns if you had access to a database. However, with the advent of the Internet, marketing has taken on a whole new meaning and business owners and managers now have the medium of “cyberspace” or the ‘world wide web’ at their fingertips. The best of both worlds–offline and online marketing can and should be combined effectively to drive sales higher. Cyberspace allows us to market online in a variety of ways: corporate websites, banner ads, email, blogs, Podcasts, RSS Feeds, and the many social media opportunities like Youtube, linkedIn, Twitter etc and of course….. search engine keywords–the list is virtually endless! However, there is still a place for the standard offline marketing tactics, so it only makes sense to integrate marketing strategies to achieve your goals. Integrated marketing is really about allowing marketing decision-makers to view the entire marketing process from beginning to end, thereby providing insight into which combination of tactics will drive the highest returns. Benefits of Integrated Marketing 1. Traditional advertising strategies merge with online approaches to market a product or service across all possible marketing domains and channels 2. Analysis of integrated marketing strategies allows you to use online mediums to measure offline advertising. Companies now have the ability to measure successful strategies and more importantly learn from the ones that are not. The key to successful integration of marketing strategies is: Getting your customer engaged The beauty of ‘search’ marketing as opposed to more traditional forms of advertising whereby you had to catch a prospects attention when they were doing something else like watching TV or reading a magazine is that by ‘definition’ they are ‘searching’. While this might seem obvious, potential customers when in ‘searching mode’  are looking for instant gratification. When they get to your website they want to quickly understand; – What you do – How you can solve their current problem – What are your USP’s – -Why should they choose you If you or your company need assistance in creating an integrated strategy talk to us at www.wsioms.co.za or drop a line to me jamie@wsioms.co.za and we would be happy to assist with creating an integrated digital marketing plan for your...

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Does Google check your W3C validation for Search Rankings?

Posted by on Oct 7, 2009 in SEO | Comments Off on Does Google check your W3C validation for Search Rankings?

Find below a YouTube video of Matt Cutts where he states that W3C validation does not affect search engine rankings.  Well he must have upset quite a few SEO professionals out there that has been broadcasting for years that this is an important factor to “up” your search engine rankings”. Well, error free code measured by the W3C code validator does not reward you with a higher search rankings on Google.  I believe it just makes it easier for the search engine spiders to crawl your website if you have clean code on it but I will test this and write a follow-up blog post about it.  I will also test how W3C validation affects your rankings on other search engines like Yahoo, Bing, MSN, etc. Find the YouTube video below [youtube]FPBACTS-tyg[/youtube] Let me know what you think of...

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