The High Court of Madras recently banned Tiktok. You know something is trending when it gets banned. The rise of tiktok has been even faster than the collapse of the Indian batting in World Cup semi-finals (joke). I too thought Tiktok like many others was just hype and will soon be gone. It has blown up to over 500 million users and one billion downloads.
About 6 months ago, I saw my neighbour’s kids dancing to some music on his phone. Little did I know he would go on to become a star in such a short while. This is the power of TikTok.
You know I see a great similarity between you and Loren Grey(worlds most famous tiktoker) and Riyaz Ali(top tiktoker in India). Both of you started with 0 followers and have the burning desire to become famous.
Step 1: Picking the right area or profile:
TikTok is full of actors, singers, dancers etc. Many Youtubers out there will tell you to make content based on the latest trends and hashtag. That does not work in the long run. Tiktok is all about being unique. A Tiktoker from Theni TamilNadu just posted short videos of him taking care of his fields. He has become immensely popular.
Loren Grey is more popular than Jennifer Lopez, not because she is a better singer. She stands out by being herself.
Don’t follow trends. Be the trend.
Step 2: Decide your Target Audience
All top Tiktokers know who is their target audience. Only if you know who you are targeting can you make content that they will like and share.
I am sharing the overall user types to help you filter out easily.
•87% of all tiktok users are GenZ.
•Over 40% are Indians and 18% Americans.
•56 % of users are female.
•70 % of users also use Insta and Facebook.
Step 3: Creating Content
Let your content change the world, and not the world change your content.
Have you copied assignments in exams and scored higher than the person you copied from. Comment and tag that loyal friend below. But it does not work like that in TikTok. You have to be original and entertaining. Tiktok is mainly a youthful and fun platform.
Step 4: Understanding Tik Toks Algorithm:
TikTok uses AI to suggest videos. On the basis of hashtags, keywords, location, posts which your user liked or commented and many other parameters, related videos will pop up.
These are some top tricks to make an effective Tiktok marketing strategy:
1. Hashtag Challenges
At some point or the other, we too have done some viral challenge. It all started with the ALS Bucket challenge where people poured ice-cold water over their heads to raise awareness about the syndrome. It started the viral trend that has gone on to become the most popular marketing tool and content creator for TikTok. From the bottle cap challenge to the #seekdonthide challenge, everyone is doing it.
2. IN-FEED NATIVE ADS
Tiktok generates revenue by allowing brands to show their ads to its users. The videos on Tiktok are 15 seconds long. So these ads should be of 15 seconds. These ads appear in between the videos and can take the whole screen and are Instagram. Ads are relatively lesser in number and can be effective with TikToks AI used for targeting. Check out my blog for more info on how to run an ad campaign with greater ROI. Link is in the description.
3. BRAND TAKEOVER ADS
Brand takeover ads play as soon as you open the Tiktok app. When you click on these ads, they redirect you to the brand’s official website. TikTok can generate a considerable amount of revenue from these ads. However, Tiktok ensures that no user sees more than one brand takeover ad per day.
4. BRANDED LENSES
People are always looking for funky and cool filters.
Tiktok is making the platform more interactive and more enjoyable with 2-D, and 3-D Augmented reality branded lenses. These lenses, along with the hashtag challenge, can make the campaign engaging. Tiktok allows a brand to make its lenses. (Include a funny lense for comic relief)
5. SCRATCH TO GET COINS
How exciting would that be if you could use get some TikTok coins every time you use some service or buy some product? Or if you get coins when you use GooglePay or PayTm to pay for services.
Well, TikTok coins can open ample of options for collaboration with different brands.
There are two rules for TikTok.
Rule number 1: Always stay original and never give up.
Rule number 2: Never forget rule number one.
When starting out with a digital marketing agency or social media management agency, one of the most important decisions you will make is deciding on pricing. You want to make sure you are valuing your time and skills, while also working with your client to work within their budget and needs.
With this in mind, here is a guide to what you should reasonably be charging your clients for your digital marketing services:
1. Social Media Management
2. Email Marketing
5. Web Development
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Social Media Marketing is an important part of digital marketing. Learn social media marketing in the easiest language.
Social media marketing is very important for every business today. It’s very difficult today to think about business growth without using social media marketing.
And if you want to grow your business using social media marketing, you need a proper strategy.
This video is a complete guide for digital marketers and businesses to understand social media marketing today.
You can easily understand this in this video even if this is first time you have heard about this.
Here you will learn
1. What is social media marketing.
2. Organic and Paid Marketing and difference between the two.
3. What is re-marketing
4. Most important objectives of social media marketing
5. How to target
6. Best tools for SMM
In online marketing, “site migration” is usually a phrase that makes SEOs, PPCers, site owners and stakeholders wince. Regardless of whether you think site migrations are real, we’ve all heard horror stories about sites that have gone through domain name changes and experienced a massive drop in traffic and visibility, and those that have suffered the same fate just by changing protocol. Whether you have acquired a domain, want to roll up your M-Dot site into a responsive design, or are moving from HTTP to HTTPS, it’s crucial to have a solid action plan to avoid traffic and revenue loss.
Got an upcoming site migration? Access the site migration checklist for free.
What is a site migration? Migration types and considerations
Before you rush off into the unknown, let’s start with the basics: migration types. There are many reasons you might need to migrate your site, but here are some common ones:
Mobile Migrations: M-Dot and Responsive Redesigns
Two main types of mobile migrations include m-dot roll ups (e.g. m.domain.com) and responsive redesigns (e.g. redesigning your mobile experience from a pinch and zoom to one that fits various screen sizes). The main reason for these migrations is to create universal experiences of your site for all users, regardless of device type. This is especially important as Google’s index is now mobile first. Building a responsive site helps consolidate site authority and reduce development resources (due to having only one site to manage and update).
HTTP to HTTPS migrations
An HTTP to HTTPS site migration is getting rarer, as most sites are automatically built with secure certificates, like TLS and SSL certificates. This type of migration is one where the domain remains unchanged, but a secure certificate becomes associated with the site and changes your site’s protocol to HTTPS. This certificate is a symbol of a safe and trustworthy site and explains Google’s push for domains to adopt the protocol.
TLD Migrations & ccTLDs
Top Level Domain (TLD) migrations refer to changing the TLD of a site (e.g. changing TLDs from .com to .org). Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) migrations refer to a move from a country-specific TLD to a more internationally recognised TLD (e.g. .co.uk to .com). These moves are valuable to website owners that are trying to target a larger audience outside of a particular country’s location.
Rebranding/Consolidating Domains migrations
Rebranding is a type of site migration which occurs due to a change of name or brand acquisition. Like ccTLD to TLD migrations, this can involve moving a single domain or migrating multiple domains into one. As expected, involving multiple sites in a migration leads to greater risk for traffic and visibility.
No matter which type of migration you are looking to do, each comes with a shared list of dos and don’ts:
If you’re changing your company’s name or branding as part of your site migration, it’s crucial that you not overlook your other digital channels:
Social – This involves thinking about social platform bios, profile pictures and logos, names, trademarks and brand tone of voice. It should be relatively simple to update a social media account without interrupting your regularly scheduled posts, but if you need users to take action (i.e. follow a new brand name account) or not to take an action (i.e. if you don’t want your devoted followers to unfollow you when your account name changes), give them notice and follow up with regular “countdown to launch” reminders.
PPC – If you run Google Ads or other paid search, then this is a biggie. Make sure you update your final URLs to reflect the URL changes you have made in the migration plan. The last thing you want is your ads sending users to broken links or being disapproved entirely. Also, don’t forget to adopt the same tracking codes/UTM parameters to ensure that there is no break in reporting.
Offline – If your migration involves a name change/rebrand, you may want to take out advertising on billboards, local press and beyond (depending on your offering).
External Domains – Don’t forget to look back at previous domain campaigns/products that may have been supported by vanity URLs. Be sure to 301 redirect these to your new domain if they are still live or have earned links and social shares.
SEO – Organic traffic is likely to be impacted most adversely in the short term as Google makes sense of redirects and page changes that have been made. To prepare for this, plan to invest extra budget in alternative traffic sources such as increased email marketing, paid and social advertising.
Do get the timing right
Timing is everything. In the planning stage, it is vital to choose the best time to migrate by considering the following questions:
Is your site affected by seasonality? If so, when are these peak periods? Look to your website analytics tracking for these data (e.g. Google Analytics).
Who are the core team members that will be involved in the site migration? What is their availability? Are there concurrent company launches or releases at this time? Are any key stakeholders going to be out of the office around your launch date?
Take advantage of your analytics data to understand your business traffic patterns, and Google Trends data to understand overall user demand within your industry. Plan to migrate during quieter business periods when ample staff resources are available.
Do manage expectations
Migrations don’t always go according to plan; therefore, it is recommended to manage expectations early:
Agree on migration objectives. Why are you migrating? Is this a necessary rebrand? Is it time that you made your site secure or fully responsive?
Be clear about the amount of time and effort each step of your migration will take, and pad your timing estimates to account for delays and unforeseen blockers. Documenting firm deadlines and tight feedback turnarounds in one universal location (such as a shared work calendar, or project management tracker like Asana) will be crucial to keep the project on track.
Outline each team member’s role and responsibility in this migration and share it early on so that everyone knows what is expected of them. In addition to writing down each person’s expectations, include information around “impact” should their expectations not be met (e.g. if your SEO is unable to deliver mapped keywords by X date, what will fall by the wayside?).
Be clear about the potential impacts of migrating in both the short and long term. Ranking recovery will likely take longer if your site’s domain name, URL structures and protocols are changing (and will be compounded if happening concurrently).
Share migration case studies with your stakeholders if you have them. If you need to convince others that this migration is necessary, examples of others who did theirs well will bolster your argument.
Do agree on reporting format and frequency
Agreeing on what will be monitored and reported will provide you with accountability and makes sure that you are aware of what is important to measure; and what data is important to pull before launch. From experience, clients often request weekly ranking reports with keywords divided by category type (determined by the site), and page speed insights within the first few weeks of launch.
Although this list of dos and don’ts is important, we still strongly recommend you perform thorough technical audits before migrating, on your staging site, and on launch. This allows you to identify any issues that should be resolved to prevent trouble down the line.
Pre-migration: fuelling the rockets
Now we’ve thought about what’s in the abyss; it’s time to arm yourselves with information before you get out there. It is vital to obtain as much URL information about the legacy site as possible, for tracking, benchmarking and URL mapping purposes. This can be gained by exporting data from the following sources:
Sites Analytics Platform – Export a list of every page that has received at least one (1) visitor in the last 12 months. This ensures that all traffic-driving pages are accounted for ready for the URL mapping process.
Buzzsumo – Export a list of all your most shared content. This is a great way to ensure that content that users have engaged with and continue to engage with are accounted for.
Screaming Frog/ Deepcrawl – Run and export a full crawl of the legacy site to gather a list of every URL that may need to be mapped. (If you have a separate M-Dot site or subdomains that you are looking to move, don’t forget to include these in the crawl).
Moz’s Link Explorer/ Majestic/ Ahrefs/ Google Search Console – from these tools, export a list of each legacy URLs that have external links pointing to them. By using each tool, you can ensure that you are casting the data capture net as wide as possible, given that each tool collects backlink data differently.
PPC Accounts – Export a full list of URLs you are using for your PPC campaigns. If you have PPC specific URLs, ignoring these could lead to broken links, a significant drop in quality score and even mass ad disapproval.
Once you have exported this data, it is time to combine lists, remove duplicate URLs and prioritize the most important URLs for redirection. You can use Google Sheets, Excel or Numbers to do this. Next, create a list of URLs for the new site. When you have a list of unique legacy site URLs ordered by importance and a list of planned URLs for the new site, you’re ready to create your URL redirect map.
Map each legacy URL to the new site URL on a one-to-one (1:1) basis where possible, rather than blanket mapping to the homepage or a category page, and ensure that this is done via 301 redirects. With some migrations, there will be an enormous number of URLs that need to be mapped. If this is the case, look for opportunities to use formulas and regular expressions to make the task streamlined.
Once you have created your URL map for the new site, it’s time to benchmark the performance of your legacy site. This will make it possible to measure current performance against your new site. Make a record of the following:
Site speed of the top traffic/revenue-driving pages using tools like WebPageTest, Pingdom, GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights.
Rankings for your site’s most valuable keywords, across the products/services you offer. In order to effectively monitor keyword behavior and patterns after migration, be sure to categorize your keywords.
Average monthly organic traffic and conversions per page. If you use Google Analytics, you can run a crawl of your site (using Screaming Frog or Sitebulb) and connect your GA account to pull these data for you.
Now that you have your most important data, and your new domain confirmed:
Create a robots.txt file to dictate which areas of your new site search engine spiders are allowed to crawl. Areas that you don’t want crawlers to reach should be marked with “disallow:/folder-on-site/”. An example of this can be found in Google’s robots.txt file.
Create an XML sitemap for the new site. You can generate one using a crawler, like Screaming Frog.
Register and set up the new domain in Google Search Console (if you’re changing domain names or protocols).
Create a useful 404 page to help users that reach a broken/ non-existent page find their desired destination on site (and make sure it returns a 404 status code).
If you aren’t using a staging environment to test site changes, stop what you’re doing and set one up now. A staging site is a great way to run through changes and settings before launch to understand the full effect of the changes made. Just make sure that it is either blocked in robots.txt and all test site pages have a noindex tag on them. Once this is done, use the staging site to:
Test every 301 redirects from the legacy URLs to their new locations;
Confirm that URLs present the expected information (e.g. meta descriptions, H1 tags, title tags; and.
Ensure all internal links return 200 status codes.
The migration: launch
Finally, you’ve finished your rigorous testing, you’ve set up your monitoring tools, and everyone and everything is in place for the big button push – launch that site!
Launch! – Publish content to the new domain and ensure that there are no internal broken links and pages are displaying as expected. Apply the 301 redirects from the legacy domain to the new domain.
Crawl Legacy URLs – Using a crawler, upload your legacy URLs in list mode and crawl to make sure your 301 redirects are correctly in place and that they resolve to a 200 status code URL on your new site. If your legacy URLs return 200, 404 or non-301 status codes, then raise the alarm to your developers.
Update your robots.txt file – Update any necessary disallow rules in your robots.txt file, and remove noindex tags from pages where applicable in order to allow new pages to be crawled and indexed. Remove password authentication if extra precautions were taken.
Tracking code – Check that all tracking code put on the site (analytics, retargeting, PPC platforms, Google Search Console, etc.) are triggering and collecting data as expected.
Notify Google of site change – If you’re only changing your site’s protocol or subdomains, this step will not need to be taken. If your domain name is in fact changing, use Google Search Console’s Change of Address tool to notify Google of this change.
Fetch as Googlebot & Submit for Indexation – Make sure your homepage and any other important pages are accessible to Googlebot and display content as expected. Assuming your pages are functioning as they should, you can spur on indexation of these pages by requesting indexation You can “fetch” through the following path: Google Search Console > paste your URL into the Inspect URL search bar > Test Live URL > Submit to Index.
Real-time – Using Google Analytics (which you should be, even if you use another analytics platform) monitor the real-time feature to view the drop in users to the legacy site and confirm that traffic is passing to the new site.
Review and Upload Sitemap – Check that your new site XML sitemap returns 200 response codes when run through a crawler (if errors occur, address each URL respectively). Once this is done, via Google Search Console, upload the legacy and new XML sitemaps through the following path Google search Console > Sitemaps > Add. Uploading both the new and legacy sitemaps will aid crawlers in identifying new pages and understand that legacy URLs have been redirected.
Post migration: fighting the baddies and taking it home
You’ve thought about the journey, fueled your rockets and now you are in flight. Depending on the strength of your site, backlink profile and social clout, Google will begin crawling your site quite quickly; however, there will be latency in new pages getting indexed while crawlers discover and process these site changes. Regularly check search engine caches for important pages such as the homepage and top level category pages to identify when new URLs/page content are indexed.
Google Search Console checks
In the days after migration, Google Search Console makes it easy to monitor a site migration, including messages and crawl error reports:
Alerts and messages – Check the Google Search Console inbox daily for any alerts or error messages that need to be addressed.
Indexation – Compare the number of submitted URLs to the number of indexed URLs according to Google Search Console. These numbers may not be close together in the first few days, but if this isn’t improving in the second week after launch, there may be errors that need to be addressed.
Crawl errors – Be sure to check GSC’s crawl error report daily for both the legacy and new sites. Within this report, it is important to pay attention to the date the error appeared and compare this to the date any changes were made. If you believe that the errors in the report have already been identified and resolved, mark all errors as fixed. If they are still an issue, the error will return, and it will be clear what needs to be addressed.
Beyond Google Search Console, software crawlers are great tools to monitor status codes, redirect chains, tracking codes and more. Using a crawler (e.g. Screaming Frog, Deep Crawl or Sitebulb), perform a crawl of the legacy site URLs to ensure that:
There are no temporary 302 redirects, or redirect chains present;
No valuable pages return 404 status codes;
Tags and meta descriptions have been migrated as planned;
Analytics tracking code is present on all pages (use the custom extraction feature to identify this);
No pages that you want to be indexed are being blocked by robots.txt or meta robots tags.
Update online properties
Make sure to update social media properties to reflect the site migration, even if redirects are already in place (e.g. update your site’s link in social bios). It may also be beneficial to update Twitter handles and brand pages. Both SearchEngineWatch and Moz provide helpful social rebrand guides for all the major social platforms.
Update your site’s most valuable inbound links
Where possible it is strongly recommended to contact the owners of sites that link to your legacy URLs. Although a redirect will already be in place, a linking root domain updating their link directly to the new URL will remove undesirable redirect chains and ensure that the maximum amount of link equity is passed to your new pages. More often than not, the sites will appreciate the update. Use the data pulls collected from Majestic, Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Moz’s Open Site Explorer to identify your most valuable inbound links and reach out.
Build new links to your site
It is important to build new links in order to replace some of the link equity lost from 301 redirects, and to create new paths for search engines to discover in order to crawl your site. As always, this is best done by creating relevant and useful content and promoting it to appropriate outlets. Evaluating the existing content you have via what performs well in terms of visits and engagement, and grouping these using a content matrix can help determine your next move.
Tracking and benchmarking
Once the new site has launched, you should monitor and report on the impact of your changes:
Compare site speed and usability of the legacy site vs the new site for the legacy site’s most valuable pages based on the benchmarking data collected earlier.
Using your chosen ranking tool, monitor your pre. vs post-migration performance on a weekly basis. As tempting as it is, try not to draw any conclusions on positions for at least four weeks. It can take a while for Google to completely understand the migration that has taken place, and this is compounded by the size of the site, among other factors. Eventually, rankings should recover to their previous positions. Since it is quite common for rankings to drop before recovering, make sure you communicate this transparently to your stakeholders so that there are no nasty surprises.
TL;DR (too long; didn’t read): a site migration is a significant project that affects multiple digital channels and should, therefore, be performed with great planning and care. For the greatest chance of success, be sure to follow the processes in this website migration checklist, so you aren’t spending a large chunk of the post-migration period chasing your own tail.
Got an upcoming site migration? Access the site migration checklist for free.
Remember to ask questions early, pull all necessary data with plenty of time, test and retest your 301 redirects before launch and consider the impact of site migration on wider channels. Migrating a site takes a lot of effort, but if done properly, the rewards can be plentiful.
How to Make a Weekly Podcast: A Step-by-Step Guide
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In our 11th annual social media study (46 pages, 60+ charts) of 4800+ marketers, you’ll discover which social networks marketers most plan on using, organic social activities, paid social media plans, and much more! Get this free report and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.
For marketers trying to market their products and services to new audiences, YouTube needs to become a priority.
We outline everything you need to know about YouTube product marketing in the ultimate guide below.
Outlining YouTube marketing goals
No marketing strategy would be complete without setting out specific, measurable goals—the same goes for YouTube.
What do you want from your YouTube channel? Do you want to spread brand awareness? Increase conversions? Educate the community?
Accordingly, you will have to design your content and share it with your audience.
You also need to understand the people who use YouTube. Yes, it is a very popular platform, but you aren’t aiming for every single YouTube user.
The goals you set for the channel will also translate into the kind of audience you are aiming to reach—people who want to be educated about a subject, or who want to purchase items that will improve their lives. Or others who just want answers or troubleshooting assistance.
Once you decide on your target audience and your goals, you can create content that specifically caters to them.
Try creating a calendar for your YouTube content—you should aim to post every day, if possible—so that you have clear deadlines for sending out content.
Your videos don’t have to be very long—five minutes at the most—but the channel should be updated frequently so you can improve engagement rates.
When you make a personal Google account, you will be able to sign into YouTube—however, this is not the same as having a business account on the platform.
For one, if you want to upload videos, you need to create a channel—this channel can be specifically for you to upload business videos.
YouTube does offer an option to create an account solely to manage your business—the Brand Account option allows multiple people to use the same login to manage the account and gives you access to analytics.
You still need to create a channel for the Brand Account if you want to upload videos, leave comments, and make playlists.
Once you create your channel, it is imperative that you add your brand logo as the profile image, in the right dimensions—800 x 800 pixels.
You also need to add a YouTube banner (like the Lego channel example above)—2,560 x 1,440 pixels is the recommended size from Google. Check the cropping across devices and finalize the art.
With the channel art uploaded, you should add your associated brand accounts—your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al.
The links you add will appear on your channel as icons that users can then click through to.
You will also need to add a brief description of your company, and you have the option of creating a welcome video that will introduce visitors to your channel.
These are the basics of setting up your business channel. Then, it’s onto content creation.
YouTube marketing video types
There are a number of video types that you can explore when creating content for your YouTube channel. We look at seven of the most popular varieties below.
1. Behind the scenes
Take users into the life and times of your brand and your company culture with behind-the-scenes videos. Tours of your office space, Q&As with staff members, highlights from office events—these all make for excellent social content.
The Lush behind-the-scenes video is a great example of how engaging this content is—two employees share how a product is made, intercut with visuals of the actual process.
It’s soothing, calming, fun, and it gives the company a more personal outlook.
2. “Best of” videos
Most YouTube channels round off the year with ‘best of’ videos—of the year, the decade, the season, best tools, or best strategies. And this is something that you can collate for your brand, or collaborate with someone to create.
“Best of” videos are also great gateway content—someone searching for videos on a particular topic could find yours and be interested enough in your content to watch more.
3. Explainer videos
These are very popular types of videos—people are constantly looking for solutions to their problems. This is why YouTube has become a favourite search engine in its own right.
Make life easier for users by creating explainer videos that showcase how to use a product, how to troubleshoot an issue, or how to understand a concept or industry.
Google Small Business’ video on taking high-quality photos is a simple but effective explainer—it features someone who has had success in the area alongside clear and easy-to-follow steps.
Note the friendly and comforting tone that makes the video more accessible to users who may be at the beginner stage of business photography. This helps make content more relatable and engaging.
Interviews with professionals in your field, in your company, or in an area of interest to your audience also make for popular content.
Akin to explainer videos, interviews also place your brand as a thought leader in the field—it tells people that you don’t just create content, you are an expert on it.
This interview from Inc with a leading CEO in the field makes for great content. The light and personal tone, the choice of the interviewee, and the message all place the brand as a thought leader trying to improve the knowledge of their audience.
Lists make for very popular content online—whether in blogs, infographics, or videos, lists about a topic are eye-catching and easy to consume.
Listicles are the most popular kind of content online. The Ahrefs video here is short, snappy, and to the point.
But the reason why listicles work is that they are finite—the audience knows there are 3 points and they can also go back to the point that is more relevant to them.
When attention spans are low, it helps to make your content more bite-sized, as exemplified in listicles.
6. Product demos
Make your product readily usable for customers by creating a product demo—that you can then use on your website. A demo will answer a lot of questions about the way a product should be used, while also acting as a sales pitch to buyers who are still on the fence.
Oracle Netsuite’s product demo has a simple set up—two people discussing the product with shots of the product in use. It gives users a visual guide to follow and refer to when they’re using the product themselves.
The internet may be a bastion of content, but it also has a propensity for spewing information that is patently untrue. If you want users to engage with you, you need to be real.
And what better way to do that than to feature testimonials with real people—staff and customers—on your YouTube channel?
These make for convincing videos that will make your brand look more human.
Omada’s testimonial video shows the importance of giving brands a human face—these are real people who were helped by a company and that makes the brand more attractive to potential customers.
Creating YouTube videos
Now that you know what kind of videos you should be creating, it is time to make your videos.
The content you create should be brand-conscious—ensure your logo is visible but that it doesn’t overwhelm the screen.
Adding a strong and relevant CTA will help users stay engaged with your brand beyond viewing a single video.
Also, though many think that YouTube videos need to be highly stylized and have great production values, that isn’t always the case.
Focus less on how your video looks, and more on the content of your video.
Ask yourself these questions:
What story are you trying to tell?
Who are you telling it to?
What do you want in return?
Answer these questions when you are making your videos—that will help you generate interest in your audience much more than expensive visuals.
Remember that video marketing on channels like YouTube is less about making sales, and more about making connections.
Don’t put content out there and hope for the best. You need to engage with the audience—ask people to comment and then reply to them. Look out for trolls and report them immediately.
Promote your content on social media channels. Add a link to your YouTube channel on your website and newsletter.
SEO isn’t just for written content—it has a huge role to play in video marketing, and eventually in how well your channel is received.
There are a number of SEO tools that you can use to make this process easier. But first, you need to know the key aspects of YouTube SEO that you need to work on.
If you want your audience to find your content, your channel and videos need to have the tags that are relevant to them.
The VidIQ extension is a good tool for checking tags that would be relevant to your content and are more effective in reaching your target audience.
As with tags, when creating videos, ensure you choose the keywords that not only describe the content but also appeal to your audience.
Use a mind map to brainstorm your keywords and keep track of which ones are most effective for your audience.
You will have spent time optimizing blog headlines. The same goes for YouTube videos. The headlines you choose should be extremely relevant to your topic.
Keep the headline to 60 characters—as you would do with a blog headline—so it isn’t cut off on search engines.
You should keep the primary keywords to the beginning of the headline—another important way to boost organic SEO.
Don’t use obscure keywords as this will make it harder for your videos to be found—and will negatively impact your ranking.
Looking for inspiration?
Here are some headlines that earned brands 1000s of views:
Short, sharp, and focused headlines will improve clicks and engagement.
The type of thumbnail that appears beside your video has an impact on how many people click on it—thus improving your ranking. According to YouTube, 90% of the top viewed videos feature custom thumbnails.
When you upload a video to YouTube, you will be able to choose a frame from your video. While this makes the process easier, it doesn’t actually tell the audience much about the video.
Instead, create a customized frame to use as the thumbnail—this can include visuals from the video, alongside the headline and a tagline.
Customized thumbnails will share more information than a random screenshot from the video, and make your content more attractive.
5. Video descriptions
Your video headline can only share so much information—to make your video more compelling to the audience, and for YouTube SEO rankings, write a detailed video description.
As with titles, ensure your primary keywords are kept in the front of the description. Include bullet points about the key areas you are discussing—if you can include timestamps for when in the video you will be discussing these points, even better.
Add a bit of levity by including links to the music you’re using in the video. And you should definitely include your CTA in the description.
To break it down, here are the essential elements of a great video description:
To-the-point introduction, written in brand tone, explaining exactly what viewers will see in the video
Keywords, used at the beginning of your description and sprinkled throughout. Avoid keyword stuffing, as you would do with a blog
Include your CTA below the description—a link to subscribe to your channel, visit your website, or use a code
Below the CTA, add links to related content
Add timestamps to important moments in the video
People don’t realize that hashtags on YouTube are definitely a thing—and they can be massively helpful for your organic SEO.
These hashtags are clickable—users can see all content related to those hashtags. This also means you need to be judicious in your use of hashtags.
For one, they need to be relevant to your topic. They also need to be popular—obscure hashtags, like rarely-used keywords, won’t be clicked on.
Use hashtags to make your content more easily discoverable but choose them wisely.
The discussion around which YouTube metrics you should be focusing on has been raging for years. There are a large number of metrics available but they aren’t all made equal.
Here are some of the metrics that you should examine when trying to determine how well your content is performing:
Bounce Rates – The rate at which people are leaving your video before completing it
Click Rates – The number of times your video is being clicked on
Completion Rates – How many times your video has been watched to completion
Comments – The number of comments your video received
Conversion Rates – How often users viewed a video and then acted on the CTA
Likes and Dislikes – The number of likes or dislikes your video received
Recurrence Rates – How often viewers watched the same video multiple times
Referrals – Where users are finding your videos from
Sharing – How often people are sharing your videos
Subscribers – The number of subscribers your channel has
Video Views – How many people watched a video in total
Those are a lot of metrics but you don’t have to study each one to decide whether your content is a success.
Go back to the goals that we mentioned in the first point of this blog—what are you trying to achieve with your YouTube marketing strategy?
If you want more conversions from your videos examining the completion rates and conversion rates of your videos will tell you whether your content is engaging enough for people to act on your CTA.
If creating a wholesome YouTube channel is your goal, study the referrals to find out where people are finding your content—so you can optimize those channels further.
Though you will want to grow your subscriber base, the number of subscribers you have may not be indicative of how good your content is.
If your videos are being viewed despite low subscriber numbers, it may be a sign that your content is good but isn’t catering to repeat customers.
In general, bounce rates and completion rates are good indicators of the success of your content.
When people leave your video without completing it, that means it didn’t hold their interest. If most people are leaving around the same point in the video, that gives you an idea of what you need to improve in the content itself.
Videos with low completion rates could be indicative of the fact that your videos are too long. Try creating shorter videos to see the impact on completion rates.
Focus on the metrics that align with the goals of your video marketing strategy instead of looking at every single one of them.
YouTube advertising is an option that brands can explore once they have become more comfortable with the platform.
Bumper ads: Six-second long unskippable ads that play before, during, and after videos. These cannot be skipped.
In-stream ads: These 15 second-long ads come in skippable and non-skippable forms and appear before, during, and after videos across YouTube and other Google-affiliated videos.
Masthead ads: The masthead ads appear muted at the top of the YouTube search page. These ads can be 30 seconds long.
Outstream ads: Optimized for mobile marketing only, Outstream ads appear on mobile websites associated with Google, not on YouTube mobile.
Video discovery ads: Much like banner ads, the video discovery ads appear on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and alongside related videos.
Depending on your needs, you can create ads that will improve your brand awareness and reach.
Bumper ads have the best chance of being seen because they are unskippable—but they are also only six-seconds long. If you can create strong messaging within that time, you can reach your target audience.
For a start, it makes more sense to create in-stream ads. You have more length to play with—15 seconds—and you can have them placed during a variety of relevant videos.
If you are unfamiliar with the platform, it’s always best to test out a few options so you know how which direction to go.
Video marketing on YouTube can feel like a challenge at first—but by following the above steps, you can start to build a following on the platform and improve your conversions.
Now that you have these basics in the bag, you can launch a YouTube channel to market your brand and products and let it grow into a successful marketing platform.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform, Venngage.
If you’ve already got your first online store or landing page promotion set up, the next step is to get it in front of an audience. Because unfortunately, most people won’t just find you by random happenstance. (“If you build it, they will come,” doesn’t apply to online marketing. Sorry Kevin Costner fans.) The next step of the game—and the most effective way to grow your online business—is to build an email list of interested prospects.
This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re starting with nadda single person in your database. But it doesn’t have to take years to get a sizable number of subscribers. There are some easy steps you can take today to grow your email list much faster.
Despite what you may have heard from some of the marketing Nostrdramuses over the years, “email is most definitely not dead.” (Seriously, an article like this one has popped up every year since 2007. It’s been over a decade—maybe we should all stop planning the funeral?) The truth is that email is still one of the best ways to reach customers online, especially if you’re a small business. And it delivers some of the best ROI out of all the marketing channels out there.
Unlike SEO (which can be competitive and complex), social media (which can be wildly inconsistent), and online advertising (which can cost mucho money), email is practically made for marketers. It’s straightforward, predictable, affordable, and easy to use. And with email, you can build relationships that turn one-off customers into repeat business.
But first—you need to start building that email list. So let’s get started.
Before you start building your list, you’re going to want to sign up for an email marketing tool like ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, or Mailchimp. These are some of the most popular pieces of software for not only building and sending emails to your customers, but also collecting and organizing your email list. (Because trust me… you’re not gonna want to keep track of all this on an Excel spreadsheet.) The initial costs for these tools are very low—and all of them offer free plans or trials that make it easy to get started.
Once you’ve chosen a tool, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how it works. Each platform is slightly different, but some of the first steps you’ll want to take include…
Create Your First List(s) – You can organize the emails you collect into groups called “lists.” To start out, you may want to create a “Master” list where you can put all email addresses, a “Customers” list for people who have already bought from you, and a “Prospects” list for people who have shown interest but haven’t yet made a purchase.
Import Any Existing Contacts – If you already have some emails that you want to add to your new database, now would be the time to do so. You can set up your existing email contacts in a spreadsheet to import them all in one go. Remember, these are folks who need to have expressly agreed to receive emails from you per privacy laws.
Set Up Tags/Segments – As email addresses come in, you’ll be able to tag leads based on how they entered your database, and send segmented emails to more specific groups of customers or prospects. To start out, you may want to create tags for segments like “Landing Page Leads,” “Newsletter Sign-up Leads,” and other entry points so you know who signed up where.
Create an Email Template – These email marketing tools aren’t just for organizing your list—they’re also for sending emails. Get familiar with the different templates, and try designing and sending out a test email from your business.
Bonus! Unbounce integrates seamlessly with ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, and Mailchimp. That means you’ll be able to set up lead-generation landing pages, popups, and sticky bars that automatically route visitor contact info into your email marketing software.
Step 2. Create an Offer You Can Exchange for Email Addresses
Now that you have a tool to collect email addresses, the next step—and possibly the most important part of this entire process—is to figure out how the heck to convince prospective customers to actually give you their emails.
The traditional approach here is to put some sort of “Subscribe” button on your website’s homepage or blog and ask visitors to enter their email address. But have you ever actually filled one of those things out just… because? (No, thank you.) Most visitors skip over a form like that entirely because there’s no real compelling reason to give up your email address in the first place.
An email address is someone’s personal (and private) contact information. Most people aren’t just going to type it out onto any old website, all willy nilly like that. You’ve got to offer up something genuinely valuable in exchange.
That’s why it’s a good idea to take some time and brainstorm what your business can offer that’ll convince visitors to give up their email address first. Because getting the right strategy here will help you build an email list much faster later on.
If you’re wondering what most other marketers do, here are a few of the most common ways to get a visitor’s email address…
Offer a Coupon or Discount Code
For ecommerce, one of the easiest ways to get a shopper to give you their email address is to offer them a coupon or discount in exchange. This is the most straightforward approach—but it’s also usually the most expensive. “Get $10 Off Your First Order” or “Get Free Shipping” can be powerfully persuasive for visitors… you just need to make sure you factor those expenses into your cost-per-email-acquisition.
Offer a Free Tool or Resource
The other common way to build an email list fast (especially if you’re in SaaS) is to create a free resource and gate it with a form. The key here is that it has to be something your audience would find useful that also aligns with your business expertise. So, for example, if you run an online pet store, you might create a free guide all about “How to Choose the Perfect Leash for Your Pet.” Or if you run a hair salon, you might create a “How to Cut Your Hair at Home” guide for customers staying at home during the pandemic.
Run a Sweepstakes, Giveaway, or Contest
People love free stuff. There’s something about sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests that just appeal to our lizard brains. (“Why yes, I do want a chance to win a lifetime supply of mayonnaise. Where do I sign up?”) You could even consider setting up ongoing sweepstakes like this one from Fat Stone Farm to collect customer emails on a weekly basis.
Set Up an Email Newsletter
I know I said earlier that people never sign up for newsletters “just because,” but they will sign up if you give them a compelling reason to. You can offer a newsletter as a way for folks to hear about your latest products or curate content based on what might be important to them during COVID-19. (This strategy works particularly well in B2B, where you can use a newsletter to share stories of how your other customers are navigating the crisis.)
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the approach that makes the most sense for your business. You may even want to test a combination of these two approaches to build your list faster. For example, check out how this baby food brand brought in 14,000+ email subscribers in less than a year using both coupons and a free guidebook. (You may also want to look into other creative ways to generate leads, such as free webinars, templates, quizzes, and online tools.)
A word of caution—be careful with any emails you collect for purposes other than marketing (like when someone places an order on your website). With regulations like GDPR in place, you’ll want to obtain explicit consent from your visitors in order to send them promotional emails.
Step 3. Build a Landing Page, Popup, or Sticky Bar to Collect Emails
Next, you’ll need to create a landing page or popup (or both!) to start collecting emails for your list. These will be the spots where you display your offer and ask customers to enter their contact information.
Landing pages are great if you have a juicy offer that needs some explanation (like a free resource).
Popups are perfect for short and to-the-point offers (like discounts or coupons).
Sticky bars are good for adding onto the top or bottom parts of your existing storefront or website for quick offers (again, think discounts, coupons, newsletters).
Creating a landing page or popup is pretty simple using Unbounce. (You don’t even have to get your hands dirty with HTML or CSS—which is super helpful if you’re not a developer like me.) Get started with one of our lead-generation templates and customize it using the drag-and-drop builder to match your brand and offer.
You’ll want to connect the form on your landing page or popup to your email marketing tool, and then test it out to make sure everything is hunky dory. Hit publish when it’s ready to go, and you’ll be ready to start building your list.
Step 4. Advertise Your Email-Gated Offer
Now, it’s just a matter of directing visitors towards your offer. There are a few different ways you can do this, depending on what type of offer you set up in the previous step…
If you already have a lot of visitors coming to your website, you can set up a popup or sticky bar to get people’s attention and promote your offer. With Unbounce, you can set these to show up (or slide down) on any high-traffic page of your website, including your homepage. Advanced targeting options let you time ‘em so they only appear when you want them to—like when a visitor is exiting the page without purchasing anything, for example.
If you already have an online audience on social media (or via a blog), you can use these channels to organically get the word out about your offer. This is a great way to connect with your existing audience and turn social media followers into email subscribers so you can reach them more directly.
“But wait, why do I need the emails of people who already follow me on social media?” I hear you asking. The sad truth is you only reach a small portion of your audience with organic posts on most social media platforms. (For example, according to research done by Hootsuite, the average reach of a Facebook post is only 5.5%.) Getting directly into your prospect’s email (where open rates are typically above 20%) is far more valuable than relying on organic social impressions.
Set Up Paid Ads to Drive Traffic
If you don’t already have an online audience and you’re truly starting from scratch, you may want to try investing in some online ads. Lots of brands use social ads on Facebook and Instagram to promote their free resources or discounts that get customers in the door. Think of this as an investment—once you have a list of emails, you’ll be able to reach out to these customers directly (for free).
Step 5. Start Sending Regular Emails to Your List
Once the ball starts rolling, you should start seeing the email addresses come in from your offer. Don’t worry about waiting until you cross a certain threshold of subscribers before you start sending emails to your list. Instead, build a personal relationship with those initial subscribers and get feedback from them on what types of emails they would like to see from your brand. This will help you create an email strategy that resonates with your audience as it continues to grow.
It’s also a good idea to set up automatic email nurtures that go out to new subscribers and to begin scheduling promotional emails on a regular basis. If you’re consistent, your list is much more likely to be active and engaged.
Build Your Email List Faster with Unbounce
Once you have the email addresses for your customers (and prospective customers), you’ll be able to easily let ‘em know about your latest products for sale, landing page promos, and store updates. Use the drag-and-drop builder in Unbounce to quickly create high-converting pages and popups that collect emails much faster.