Archive for the ‘Internet & Social Media’ Category
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
We came across an article today from ReelSEO talking about the business of video virality. Once a video is produced, then what? How do you start to build an audience? The ReelSEO article links to a couple of videos from ABC News. It seems that ABC had the same question about what makes an online video take off into the mainstream. So, they hired an agency to help. One video is the full report on the process of conceptualizing, producing, and marketing the video. The other is the finished video, now at over 1 million views. It was an interesting experiment. So, what are some lessons that can be learned from this process?
- Plan – The ad agency spent time with the client, brainstorming all kinds of ideas. They got to know the client on a personal, professional, and philanthropic level. It was only after they learned about the client, were they able to come up with an idea that reflected his interests and values.
- Find Influencers – The agency did their research and found specific sites with large audiences who write about and discuss topics similar to what’s seen in the Hovercat video. Getting those influencers to share that content with their audiences boosted views. It pays to do the research.
The ReelSEO article also points out that the ABC News piece didn’t even cover the views that can be gained through social media and email. ReelSEO also acknowledges some of the shortcomings of the video itself, and speculates (rightly so, we believe) that the video could have gained much more traction if the content itself had a bit more substance to it. Regardless, it’s a good experiment, and it demonstrates how a brand can gain significant views on their video content with the right amount of planning and research.
Monday, March 5th, 2012
Perhaps you have ventured into the online video arena by uploading a little bit of content to your website, YouTube channel, or Facebook page, and now, you’re interested in learning how to make the most of these efforts. I came across some advice from Kelly Wallace (Chief Correspondent and Head of Video for iVillage) while watching an episode of The New Media Minute, hosted by Daisy Whitney. iVillage is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, ranging anywhere from 26-30 million unique visitors per month. Over the past few months they have been increasing the amount of video content they produce for the site. Currently, videos on iVillage generate 4 million views per month. Here’s what Wallace had to say for those interested in adding more video to their site:
- Start out small. Video is more expensive to produce than written content so don’t try to bite off more than your advertising budget can chew. If you start out small and invest just enough to get you up and running you can easily see what works and what doesn’t work. Then, as you familiarize yourself with the process and you work out the kinks in your format, you can begin to invest more and more into the production and post-production of your videos.
- If you have a variety of video content than spans different themes, think about organizing this content into playlists or channels, to help viewers find what they’re looking for.
- Think about creating regularly scheduled programming so your viewers know when to expect newly released content. Much like a TV schedule, you can set up to release videos on theme #1 on Mondays, while Theme #2 is released on Friday. The more familiar your audience becomes with the schedule and with the on-camera talent, the more they will begin to relate to you, your people, your brand, and your topics.
- Video is an extension of your brand. It’s another way you can reach your potential customer. But remember that the quality, the format, and the value of the content will ultimately reflect back on your brand and will effect how the public perceives you. Think out your video strategy carefully and be diligent to produce the best possible content you can.
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
In this Internet age, one that’s dominated by social media and user-generated content, it’s easy to find examples of individuals who have been reprimanded, fired, humiliated (or all of the above) based on what they post online. As much as the label “social media” is tossed around, the term “social policy” is not too far behind. It’s important for everyone to know what facts and information are okay to post online.
As a regular user of social media, I recognize the value it can have to SEO. Tools like Twitter and Facebook are additional spokes in the wheel that can drive additional traffic back to a website. Therefore, I like to keep my contacts updated on the projects we are working on. I might write a blurb about our recent work in our e-newsletter, or post behind-the-scenes pictures to our Facebook page.
If you find yourself working with a video production company, the contract needs to state explicitly what can/cannot be shared during the course of production. I have a clause in our contract which allows me to promote the work in various ways to help market my business. However, that particular clause deals specifically with the final, completed video. Posting pictures, videos, etc. online while the project is still in production is a separate matter and should be clarified between the video production company and the client before the job begins.
My clients do not have issues with me posting behind-the-scenes content to my various online accounts, but usually they ask me to wait until after the video is complete or after the video has been posted/exhibited/distributed. Every client-production company relationship will be different, but in the era of social media where everything is instant, policies regarding video production and social media should be addressed early so that serious problems don’t occur later.
Monday, November 7th, 2011
This just in – your customers matter. Sounds like a no-brainer. Sounds like a topic not really worthy of discussion. Everyone knows it. What more needs to be said? As simple as this concept sounds, it seems that some businesses aren’t heeding the advice. Consumers are angry over increased fees, changes in services, changes in the business model, changes with products… you name it. When consumers feel slighted, they immediately take to the Internet to voice their opinions. Unless businesses address these concerns, they can quickly become mired in a very sticky PR situation.
All one needs to do to see the effect of this consumer backlash is to look at Netflix, who quickly ditched their plans to spin off their DVD service into a separate company called Qwikster. Or consider the uproar that Bank of America caused when they decided to start charging customers a monthly fee for using their debit cards. According to this article from USA Today, they too have backed down in the face of public opinion and have decided not to charge a debit card fee. Conversely, consider how Domino’s Pizza responded to customer feedback in late 2009.
What does all this mean for marketers, advertisers, and PR professionals who work to build up brands?
- Decisions must be weighed carefully. Don’t rush into any decisions regarding marketing/advertising strategies unless you have done your homework and thoroughly understand your ideal consumer; his/her opinions, buying habits, likes/dislikes, etc.
- Don’t underestimate your consumer. With social media at their disposal, customers have a very loud voice and can stir up support for their cause quickly at the grassroots level.
- Difficulty awaits those who find themselves trying to rebuild trust among their consumer base. There are two items to note from the USA Today article referenced earlier. One is a quote from famed PR guru Howard Rubenstein, who said, “Every company is now sitting on electronic quicksand. It may look like solid ground, but one wrong move and you’re up to your chin.” The second is a statistic released from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The study states that “some $58 billion in transactions may be at risk from Americans who had a problem with a product or service purchased in the last year.”
Businesses can’t afford to aim wildly with their marketing, advertising, or PR decisions and just throw something at the wall to see what sticks. A company’s reputation (and its bottom line) is at stake. Well-crafted, well-executed, and well-targeted messages will always work best. Be communicative. Be consistent with who you are as a company. And remember who matters the most.
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
ByteSize, Inc. is an IT company in Birmingham, AL. They specialize in a variety of services, including full turnkey IT solutions, server and network support, data backup, disaster recovery, and more. They approached us because they were interested in upgrading the look of their website. However, they wanted the ability to write, insert, and edit their own copy. When we started the project, we were faced with a short deadline. ByteSize was interested in having their new site go live as quickly as possible, but it wasn’t a priority to have all of the copy in place before the launch. So, we designed and developed a template for the entire website, which provided a framework for future content. We went live with the home page and a few basic pages and from there ByteSize inserted their own content using the custom CMS tool we provided.