Video Advertising: Is This Your Opportunity?

Video marketing has been growing as a new medium in the past few years, but it’s about to get even better. Google has announced that it will soon add 100 new YouTube channels. What a golden opportunity.

The opportunity here isn’t that you can get your own YouTube channel. You already have that opportunity. The real opportunity in this case is that you just might gain access to these channels as an advertiser.

You can bet that Google’s plan is to turn these channels into revenue streams. Look who their talent are: Shaquille O’Neal, Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z, and CSI creator Antony Zuiker, to name a few.

So what’s that mean for you? These channels are going to need sponsors. And who do you think Google is going to target for that sponsorship? If you are currently a TV advertiser, you know their hope is that you will switch to being a YouTube advertiser. Are you ready?

The benefit to advertising through a YouTube channel is the potential for a larger, more global, audience. And the advertising will likely cost less per viewer. Even if you’re local, there will likely be opportunities for advertising through an appropriate YouTube channel.

These 100 new channels represent a beginning. Will you be ready to advertising through videos when YouTube has 1,000 channels, some of them possibly local?

October 31st, 2011 / Viral Marketing

Why You Should Use Infographics

Infographics are powerful viral marketing tools. They rely on two very powerful media themselves – information and graphics.

The alternative to using infographics is text. Textual content is important and I would use it to support your infographic. But textual content on its own can be difficult to consume. It can take a lot of time to read and analyze and cause some of your visitors to leave your website before they’ve been able to complete reading your web page.

An infographic, on the other hand, takes your detailed information and presents it in a visual package that is easier to consume, takes less time to analyze, and is visually appealing.

The downside to infographics is that they are more difficult to SEO than text because they are images. All the on-page SEO you can do is to add an alt tag. You can also link from one page to the infographic to help increase your internal link structure. Beyond that, there’s not much on-page SEO you can do besides augment your infographic with SEO content.

However, a good infographic will attract links. You can use it as link bait.

A powerful infographic that attracts a lot of inbound links can increase your website’s visibility in the search engines and increase its social sharing clout, not to mention your website’s traffic.

August 31st, 2011 / Viral Marketing

6 Viral Marketing Tactics Still En Vogue

Viral marketing has become somewhat of a catch-all word in some circles, but there is a very distinct flavor to viral marketing that keeps it in its own category. I’d like to highlight 6 specific viral marketing tactics that still work.

  1. E-mail marketing – E-mail marketing was one of the first types of viral marketing online. Hotmail used it effectively just by putting a message at the bottom of every e-mail its users sent out to get new subscribers. E-mail marketing still works today.
  2. Article marketing – Article marketing is another early Internet marketing tactic that could be used for viral marketing success. Do it right and you can still see great results with articles.
  3. Video marketing – One of the most powerful viral marketing tactics is video marketing. It’s a johnnie-come-lately in Internet marketing, but it’s just as powerful a marketing tactic ever.
  4. Social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, the list goes on. Social media has become its own viral marketing tool.
  5. Twitter – Twitter is so powerful it deserves its own category. You can use Twitter as opt-in list and drive massive traffic to your website and landing pages.
  6. Blogging – No discussion of viral marketing is complete without mentioning the king of viral marketing, blogs. You can put blog marketing into the social media category, SEO, or group it on its own. Either way, you can make it go viral.

Viral marketing is not a thing of the past. In fact, it has a very bright future.

August 22nd, 2011 / Viral Marketing

Is Video Marketing In Your Future?

Video marketing and viral marketing are becoming synonymous terms. That’s especially true since video marketing is increasingly becoming more and more popular.

With YouTube serving up billions of videos every day and viral video campaigns delivering clickthrough rates of 750%, video marketing has become a force that no online marketing company can ignore.

If you decide that video marketing is something you want to engage in this year or next, keep these points in mind as you move forward with your viral marketing plans:

  • Make your videos creative. The competition for eyeballs is growing fierce, and it’s going to get a lot fiercer. Online video viewers will not tolerate shoddy videos, unentertaining or uninteresting concepts, or anything boring. Make your videos creative and entertaining as well as informative.
  • Use your videos as opportunities to brand your company and its products.
  • Include testimonials. They are very powerful – especially in video. But if you use testimonials, don’t make them up. Don’t use actors. Use your real customers and make your testimonials real.
  • Be personable and real. Speak to your prospects, not at them. People relate to real people so make your videos relatable. Don’t make them stuffy.

Video marketing has the potential to drive targeted viral traffic to your websites. Do it well and it will pay big dividends. Do it poorly and you’ll just be throwing away your money.

July 12th, 2011 / Viral Marketing

How To Go Viral In 7 Easy Steps

Viral marketing is nothing new. It’s been around since 1997 when Hotmail put a simple link at the bottom of every e-mail its users sent out inviting recipients to sign up for their own free e-mail account. Within 18 months, the service had 8 million sign ups. Viral marketing was born.

David Jackson has a great article that discusses the 7 very effective techniques for helping your content go viral.

Those 7 techniques (in a nutshell) are:

  1. Video marketing
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Article marketing
  4. Tweet/Retweet buttons
  5. Share widgets
  6. E-books
  7. Newsletters

I would add one more viral marketing technique to this list: iPhone apps.

Each of these techniques has its own methods. They each have their own purposes. What will work for one viral marketing campaign won’t necessarily work for another. So if you think that you can just include all 8 of these techniques in every marketing campaign and your content will go viral, think again. It doesn’t happen that way.

Viral marketing is a fancy way of saying “word of mouth advertising” at break-neck speed. And that’s the key. When your content goes viral it’s because a lot of people are talking about it and telling their friends. This causes your content to rise in popularity at a rapid rate.

Are you ready to go viral? Create something awesome and tell your firiends. If it truly is awesome, they’ll tell their friends. Then they’ll tell their friends. And they’ll tell more friends. And so on and so on ….

June 28th, 2011 / Viral Marketing

Why Video Marketing Is Viral

We live in an age of video. Online video. And you can use video to market your message to the world and make it go viral. Al Qaeda did.

When terrorist leader Osama bin Laden died, his organization, Al Qaeda, could have disappeared into the shadows. But they didn’t. Instead, the No. 2 leader used the opportunity to post a video message to the world that Osama bin Laden will be just as effective in death as he was in life.

Like the message or hate it, it was effective. It kept Al Qaeda in the public eye and the public conscience. And people are watching the video in droves.

The video in question is a video eulogy memorializing terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. He’s an enemy to the West, but he’s a hero to many others. Thats makes him a newsworthy icon. And online video is the perfect viral tool to keep his message alive while he is all-but-forgotten.

Here’s the lesson: Any organization can do this – even yours.

What’s your message? You can use video to get it out there and keep it out there. You can play off of current events to get your message to the public and keep it there. It’s an easy lesson to learn, but a hard one to implement. With the right planning, however, I’m confident you can do it.

June 8th, 2011 / Viral Marketing

How A Twitter Hoax Went Viral

Twitter is a tool that can be used for extreme good or extreme evil. I’m not saying a hoax claiming that a popular celebrity has died ranks as extreme evil, but it certainly doesn’t fall in the “good” category. Nevertheless, we can learn from it.

The key to this hoax’s success was in reaching a Twitter account with 60,000 followers. While being popular is itself not an indicator of viral success, if you’ve got the right message, then your message can go viral really quick. And that’s what happened when “RIP Jackie Chan” reached @tweetmeme.

The ingredients for a successful viral marketing campaign are these:

  • The right message
  • The right audience
  • Obtaining legitimacy with support of key influencers
  • Perfect timing

When these four elements line up just right, you have the perfect recipe for viral marketing success.

Twitter, like no other tool in history, makes the viral impact potential of any message better just because of its nature. You can have access to hundreds of thousands of sales people for your idea within seconds. Even if you yourself only have 100 followers.

If this is the kind of viral marketing success that you are looking for, start by finding the key influencers, what Malcom Gladwell calls connectors, within your niche. Then hone your message into a concise expression of content that appeals to your audience. Time it right and you’ll be going viral in no time. Just like Jackie Chan.

April 4th, 2011 / Viral Marketing

The Inner Core Of Viral Marketing

Yesterday, I wrote a post defining viral marketing. Today, I’d like to go a little deeper.

An article at WebProNews discusses the essence of viral marketing in real simple terms. Here’s what Jonah Peretti says:

Simply, stuff that has the best opportunity to spread is stuff that people want to share with others.

You can’t get any simpler than that.

To get your content to go viral, you’ve got to create something that has a broad appeal. Remember, in social media, people share what defines them. If you want your content to go viral, then it has to define – even in small ways – some particular part of being of a lot of people. You want your friends to share with their friends, their friends to share with more friends, and so on. That’s how content goes viral.

But is that a spontaneous movement, or is it planned?

It can be both. But I think the best viral marketing is planned marketing. That means you have to understand your audience well enough to know what appeals to them. If you hit the nail on the head, your audience will do the rest.

The hardest part of viral marketing is creating the content. After that, it’s just putting it in front of the right people.

April 1st, 2011 / Viral Marketing

What Is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is a term given to a particular type of marketing that can involve several different strategies. The idea is to create a marketing product that catches on and gets a lot of people talking about your business. Another way of saying that is “it creates a buzz.”

So how do you create that buzz? You can do it through any number of marketing strategies that include:

  • Article marketing
  • Blog marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Mobile apps development
  • Widget promotion
  • Infographics
  • Link baiting

These are just a few of the methods that online marketers have used to create a buzz around their product or service. Viral marketing is not so much about the strategy as it is about the effect.

Any time you do something that gets people talking about your business, it’s a good thing. You can then step back and watch the buzz being repeated over and over again. This usually results in an increase in business. It can be driving new traffic to your off line store or it can be driving new traffic to your website. Either way, you are more visible than before and poised to make a profit.

Viral marketing is powerful when done correctly. And it isn’t any more expensive than traditional marketing. In many cases, it can be done dirt cheap.

March 31st, 2011 / Viral Marketing

How A YouTube Channel Can Make You An Expert

One of the often overlooked marketing opportunities online is YouTube. Many people are using it to great effect, but not all of them are using it to its fullest potential. Rather than just upload a few random videos on various topics related to your business, why not start your own YouTube channel? It’s a lot of work, but it can pay off in big dividends.

A YouTube channel is almost like having your own television show. The difference is that people can access your videos anytime they want versus having to sit in front of the Boob Tube at a certain time of day on a certain day of the week.

Here are five reasons why a YouTube channel can make you an expert in your niche:

  • It’s free. It doesn’t cost anything to start a YouTube channel so your expenses are low.
  • If you can produce great video content that is entertaining and informative, then you can attract a loyal following of viewers on YouTube.
  • A YouTube channel can be used to send targeted traffic to your website on a regular basis.
  • You can monetize a YouTube channel and turn it into its own unique revenue source.
  • As a reputation management tool, a YouTube channel can make you an expert in your niche.

YouTube has a powerful platform for anyone who can take the time to learn to use it. Start your own YouTube channel and become an expert in your niche.

March 19th, 2011 / Viral Marketing