You don’t have to be a graphic designer or a Photoshop pro to create stunning graphics for your social media channels. These three tools make it easy!
So you shot a video of your latest product offering and you want to get some SEO/content marketing juice out of it. Try putting up a transcription of the audio in with the actual media file. Here’s why:
Right now, a great way to win search is to have your video rank high on YouTube. The best way to do that is simply optimize the video — keywords in the title, description, and tags; link from your website and Twitter to the video. That’s because less than 10% of all videos put up on YouTube are optimized. If you shoot a short product demo video and put it on YouTube, you’ve got a great chance of winning a YouTube search.
And if you can win a YouTube search, chances are your video will also show up near the top of a regular Google search. (The quick moral of the story: If you’re in a fairly competitive vertical on Google, focus on your YouTube strategy instead.)
To give yourself another boost, embed the video on your blog or website, and be sure to promote the link on Twitter, Google+, etc. You can even put the link on the YouTube video (“For more information, visit the Banana Slicer website.”)
But if you really want to make sure your videos are being indexed, helping your SEO, and making it easier for people to find you, create a written transcript of the video, and upload it.
To do this, go to your video, and click on the Captions button. Then, click the Upload caption file or transcript button.
You will need to have written your transcript beforehand, of course. Maybe you were working from a script, maybe you can type really fast, or maybe you even hire a transcription service. (I was recently on Jay Baer’s Social Media Pros podcast, and he told me they used a transcription service.)
It may seem like a lot of work, especially if you have to type the transcription out yourself. But if you’re doing a strong content marketing push for all of your content, this is one valuable step that you can take, and it will be worth the effort.
Google is currently working on a way to transcribe videos that are posted to their website — you can see the beginnings of their efforts on Google Voice’s transcribed voice mail messages — and one day, we won’t need to do this. But until then, you can smoke your competition by following this one step for all your YouTube videos.
Today’s article is a guest post by Jason Bean, Internet Marketing Sherpa at Bnpositive Communication.
I recently wrote a post that discussed how Major League Baseball used Instagram to really connect with their fans. For that post the main focus was on Instagram and how MLB was taking advantage of the photo sharing activity of their fan base using the popular photo editing and sharing app to create engage content for their own site, and the sites of the other teams involved in the post-season.
What you and your business needs to be aware of is that the “MLB” and “Instagram” are just components of the equation for creating content that can be interchanged as needed (and should be regularly) for your own business goals.
If your business is trying to connect in different ways with your audience, it’s not about coming up with something brand new every time and trying to guess if your target market is going to like it. Just take a look at where your target is already engaged and give them another handle to connect with you and your business. That handle = content.
When it comes to sharing content across social networks and platforms you should remember these three things about what content becomes popular quickly these days.
Content is more visual now than perhaps it’s ever been. Apps like Instagram become so popular because we want to “see” things around us. Do I really need to see another photo of the Circle of Lights in downtown Indianapolis? No, not really, but because it was something a friend of mine saw and shared, then it’s more interesting because I’m connecting in a way with that friend and their life experience. Pay attention to apps that are already sharing visual content and then determine a way to engage visually with your audience and potentially your products on that platform. How can your business connect visually with your customers?
Foursquare, Google Places and other geo-location based sharing apps aren’t really new, but they continue to pick up speed as it becomes easier to quickly identify where you are in a spatial environment and share your location with others. Literally connecting with your audience where they are can have a huge engagement benefit. Creating and highlighting content that’s relevant because of my location in relation to that content can have a huge value. How can you share content that becomes more valuable to your customers based on their location?
I was reminded recently as I traveled out-of-town that our ability to be mobile in this country is amazing and we don’t really give it a second thought. More powerful cellphones, smaller computers and other devices allow us to be just as productive away from a desk as we are in the office (whether or not that’s a true benefit is a blog post for another day).
In less than 24 hours I traveled across three states and reconnected with old friends from high school, college and post-college. I shared text and photo content regularly from my phone to my networks. I also looked for the deals on dining, attractions, gas prices and traffic all along the route.
The point is I’m not sitting still and neither is the majority of the rest of your audience. What content can you share that will be helpful for your customers? Give it to them where they’re at and make it easy for them to find it on the devices they’re using.
Today’s article is a guest post by Jason Bean, Internet Marketing Sherpa at Deep Ripples.
This year has been one of major upheaval after another for content marketers. We’ve had our tried-and-true algorithms and techniques busted by Google, we’ve had new algorithms and measurements introduced, which actually sent some search engine optimization professionals out of business.
Here are three things that every content marketer should have learned from the past 12 months.
Google isn’t letting us get away with putting out schlocky content and cramming it full of keywords to trick the search engine spiders. They’re looking at three important factors — click-through rate, time on site, and bounce rate — to determine whether your sites are rank-worthy. If the rates are high, your rank is high. That is, if people click through to your content, read it for a little while, and visits some other pages or posts on your site, you’ll do well in the search rankings.
But, and this is a big but, you’re not going to get and keep readers if you can’t write, or if you continue to put out low-quality crap.
In short, the better you behave in Google’s eyes, the better your content will perform. So if you want to trick Google, be the best, most trustworthy author you can be. That’ll show ’em!
Co-citation is a new feature from Google that should be rolling out soon. It will replace anchor text (putting keywords inside hyperlinks), and instead, they’re associating important terms — keywords you’re using in your titles PLUS important terms they recognize from other searches — and combining them with other terms.
For example, the big co-citation link here is my use of “content marketing” in the headline, plus my name. Google will see my name, see that I’m the author, and see that “content marketing” is an important keyword in the title.
However, they will also pick up on other keywords like “AuthorRank,” “co-citation,” and “writer.”
Boom, boom, boom, co-cited.
In other words, you don’t have to keyword stuff, you just have to write about the important topics that you want Google to know you for.
But, thanks to Google, you have to do it a lot, you have to do it well, and you have to let Google know you did it.
Photo credit: JanneM (Flickr, Creative Commons)
People who are aware of what’s going on with Google, but aren’t mired in the details of SEO every day may have heard the oft-used-but-incorrect phrase, “SEO is dead.”
My utter contempt for any phrase that says “______ is dead” notwithstanding, SEO is anything but dead. True, it has undergone some serious transformations, but calling it dead means you don’t understand what SEO actually is.
It used to be that everything was based on keywords and links. If you used the right keywords in your domain name, your website title, the headline of any page or post, and even inside the meta description and the right number of times within the body copy, you could rank higher for that particular keyword. Do it more than anyone else, and you could win search for that keyword. Then, get dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of backlinks (links that go back) to your page, and you could dominate.
But Google realized people were cheating the system, writing nonsensical garbled posts stuffed with keywords, and creating crappy websites that were filled with hundreds and thousands of backlinks that pointed back to their (or their clients’) pages.
When Google launched the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, they pretty much said “we will no longer value any of these old techniques. In fact, if you try to trick us, we’ll penalize your ranking and possibly even drop you.”
But that doesn’t mean that SEO is dead, or that keywords are useless. Far from it. Keywords are still valuable, because they tell Google what your page is about.
Imagine creating a book with no title, no keywords about what it’s about, no listed author, and nothing to give you an idea about what you can expect to read. Now imagine trying to find the book in the library.
Just like we (and libraries) need descriptions and titles to know what books are about, Google still needs keywords to understand what our websites are about. So don’t stop using keywords in your headlines, tags, categories, and body copy. Just quit obsessing about them so much. You don’t need to count keywords, or come up with 20 different tags, or list every possible variation of keyword tag.
Just because Google changed the face of SEO doesn’t mean they stopped indexing pages, or doesn’t want to try to understand what the page is about. Many people think that’s what it means, but remember, Google is an information engine. They want your information about your website and blog, and it’s up to you to do a good job providing it.
Good content matters. Things that people will find valuable and interesting. Stuff that’s well-written. Interesting photos. Captivating videos. Anything that people will want to read/study/watch. If it’s interesting to people, Google wants to give it the attention it deserves.
They no longer want trickery, they want value.
That means you can’t rely on SEO tricks anymore, like a blog post that pulls the first 100 words of a news article and includes a link forwarding it to the original article. (Or worse yet, a post that leads to a different post on a different site, which leads to yet another post, and that goes on to the news article.)
This has created some interesting problems in the content marketing world. It means you actually need content. And companies that made their living doing SEO stuff have now turned to becoming writers, photographers, video producers, and podcasters.
They stopped being click jockeys and are becoming word slingers.
Google declared 2011 the year of video, 2012 the year of mobile. But thanks to Panda and Penguin, it looks like 2013 is going to be the year of the writer.
Next week, we’ll talk about what parameters Google does look at to determine whether a site is valuable or not, and to help you understand whether you can deliver it or not.
Photo credit: Adam Foster (Flickr, Creative Commons)
When I played college soccer, my coach, Larry, said something that has stuck with me for the last 25 years: the best defender a forward will ever face is an orange cone.
“The orange cone doesn’t actually do anything, but immediately the forward is more likely to make a dribbling mistake, because he’s got to go around the cone.”
Larry’s point was that when it comes to defense, the forward is the one under all the pressure. He’s the one with the ball, he’s the one in control, he’s the one the scoring drive depends on. The cone just has to sit and wait for the person with the ball to make a mistake.
Similarly, a good defender just had to be patient and waited for the forward to make a mistake. A great defender could move and force the forward to make a mistake, but if you really wanted to make him cough up the ball, just be patient.
If you want to succeed at content marketing, sometimes you only have to be an orange cone. You only have to put in a little bit of effort. You only have to write a blog post once a week, and tweet a few times a day, and dabble on LinkedIn or Facebook.
That’s because your competition isn’t actually doing anything at all. They’ve got the ball, they’re running in an open field, and then suddenly, BAM!
Now, things are going wrong, they overkicked the ball, it bounced off their foot, or they took their eyes off the ultimate goal, and the other team has the taken the ball away.
So it goes with your competition. They’re going along, doing their thing, showing up at the office, making phone calls, having meetings, going to trade shows, and BAM!
You started blogging once a week. You tweet 3 times a day. You joined a LinkedIn group or attended a networking event.
It’s not a big deal. You’re not getting thousands of visits every week. You’re not rocketing to the top of the search engines, landing big speaking gigs and book deals. It’s a quiet little blog or Twitter account in your own quiet little corner of the world, but it’s getting results.
Because you’re doing the bare minimum, while your competition is doing nothing at all.
I’ve worked with clients in the past who were being totally dominated in search, and our content marketing plan was an all-out game of catch-up. But I’ve also worked with clients who were in an industry where no one was doing anything at all, and by doing a bare minimum — by being an orange cone — their content marketing efforts dominated. We won search, we helped them become a leader in the industry, and their business exploded.
For some industries, you have to play like it’s the last five minutes of the championship game, and you’re down by 1. You pull the goalie, and you mount attack after attack on the goal, and hope that something goes in so you can go into overtime.
But for most industries, you don’t have to do much at all. That’s because your competition sucks at the Internet. They barely have a website, they certainly don’t have a blog, and they still think Twitter is the little yellow bird from Bugs Bunny.
For those industries, the first company to start doing social media marketing is going to be the company who dominates that industry online. It doesn’t take much effort at all. But the dividends will be huge. And as your competition starts to play catch up, like when they finally launch their blog, or start (and then abandon) their first Twitter account, you’ll be ready to take it to the next level, and start doing more on the social media front.
You’ll be the one they’re chasing after, as you bear down on their goal, with no one standing in the way.
The goal’s open, so take your shot.
Photo credit: Kellogg Community College (Flickr, Creative Commons)