Investing in video: when and how to succeed

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In digital marketing, we’re always trying to keep up with the hottest new thing – advertising methods, ad types, targeting types, etc. – being pitched heavily within the industry in general.

Whether it be the “year of mobile” to the “year of RLSA,” there is always another trend to consider investing heavily in.

Over the last year-plus, video has been most frequently cited as the new digital frontier. Whether it’s important to a comprehensive marketing campaign isn’t the question, though. The question is how do we best leverage it?

In this post, we’ll talk about when – and how – to put video in play for your marketing campaigns.

First, you need to determine if video will even be beneficial for your company.

Videos are best used as an educational/informational tool to help relay info to your audience. If you have a business that requires some explanation of the service or product, or have a variety of advanced features that need to be showcased, or even need to establish credibility and trust for the user to move forward, video can be key for your growth.

If you’ve determined that your business would indeed benefit from adding or expanding on video, how should you leverage it in your advertising efforts? What are some strategies to do so?

Well, below are some tips to make the most out of Facebook and YouTube video for direct-response/performance-driven efforts:

Start with Facebook

Facebook is probably the best platform to leverage video from the direct response perspective. You can get extremely granular with its targeting capabilities and ensure that you are reaching highly relevant audiences to whom you can introduce your brand and explain its value proposition.

As a reminder, the best practice is to keep video length less than 30 secs; that’s about as long as you can plan to keep a user’s attention.

Initially, you’ll want to use Facebook videos in your prospecting efforts. These videos will serve as a first touch to audiences who haven’t heard of you or don’t know you well.

The goal of these video ads is twofold: educate the user and also determine which users are actually interested in what you have to offer.

How do you determine that? Well, Facebook creates audience lists based off how much of the video users have viewed. If someone has completed your full video, they likely have a relatively high level of interest in your product or service.

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Once you’ve identified this group, take that audience list of users who have completed the video and begin serving remarketing ads towards them to drive them onto your site and get them to convert.

Now perhaps someone came to our site from another method – paid search, organic, etc. You can also leverage Facebook video ads to help further convince users who haven’t converted why we are right for them.

One powerful ad type within Facebook is Carousel Ads, which let you show 3-5 images, concepts, and messages to help get your point across, deliver value props, and get people to convert.

What many people don’t realize is that you can actually incorporate video into one of your carousel cards. This becomes extremely effective with remarketing as it allows you to relay numerous different messages while also providing the user an educational video to further convince them.

Use YouTube for remarketing

We all know about YouTube and its huge traffic numbers. Of course you should consider advertising here, but note that YouTube is often seen more as a branding play than a direct-response. The one way to really make YouTube effective with DR in mind is to leverage for remarketing.

My recommendation is to develop and segment audience lists of users who visit your site but do not convert based on their interaction with the website (for example, people who get to a sign-up page have shown higher intent than someone who has only gotten to the home page).

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Then test various different audiences using different video assets. Essentially, you should aim to further educate these audiences via YouTube and test which videos tend to work better with higher-intent audiences vs. those in research mode.

Videos can be an impactful format when trying to reach your audience and scale your business – but not before you determine when to use it, what channels to leverage it on, and how to strategize to invest your budget wisely.

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Author: Sana Ansari

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Edmonia Lewis Google doodle honors 19th century artist behind “The Death of Cleopatra” sculpture

edmonia-lewis doodle2

Google is continuing to spotlight Americans who have pushed boundaries with today’s doodle celebrating American scupltor Edmonia Lewis.

Born in New York in 1844, Google recognizes Lewis as the first U.S. female of African American and Native American descent to become a world renown sculptor.

The doodle depicts Lewis with one of her most famous works – The Death of Cleopatra, which is kept at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Google says the vibrant colors of the Google letters within the doodle pay tribute to Lewis’ Native American heritage.

From the Google Doodle Blog:

At age 15, Lewis enrolled in Oberlin College, which is where she became passionate about art. Unfortunately however, her time at Oberlin was fraught with discrimination by many of her peers and the surrounding community. It was due to this that she was prevented from enrolling in her final term, and therefore was unable to receive her degree.

Fortunately, Lewis was able to find an apprenticeship position under Edward Brackett and eventually had a solo exhibition of her work in 1864. She later moved to Rome where she surrounded herself with other ex-pat artists and built her own studio.

“Lewis’s legacy continues to thrive through her art and the path she helped forge for women and artists of color. Today, we celebrate her and what she stands for – self-expression through art, even in the face of adversary,” writes Google on its Doodle blog.

Designed by Sophie Diao, the doodle leads to a search for “Edmonia Lewis” and includes a sharing icon to post the doodle on social pages or send via email.

edmonia-lewis doodle

This is the second doodle in less than a week to celebrate a woman of African American and Native American descent who rose above the odds. While Bessie Coleman was a first-class aviator and Lewis an artist, both chose to leave the U.S. early in their careers in order to create the life they wanted.

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Author: Amy Gesenhues

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Google: No Plans Or Desire To Remove The Site Command

On the heels of the link operator being killed off by Google, some SEOs are worried that Google will drop the site operator/command. The site operator lets you quickly do a site only search, such as site:www.domain.com [keyword here] and it will search that site only for that keyword.

While we know the site command doesn’t give an accurate page index count, we are told to use the Google Search Console reports for that, it is still useful for within site searches.

Google’s Gary Illyes said on Twitter that they have “no such plans” to drop the site command and added that “some of us would fight against it pretty hard if we had.”

That is a pretty strong message that Google is not ditching the site command, don’t you think?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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Author: barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz)

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