Happy Halloween – content marketing around special events

Happy Halloween – content marketing around special events

Planning your content marketing Strategy


During meetings I’ve had with clients over the last week or so, we’ve been looking at how we can boost our content marketing on their websites and on their social media feeds by creating content relating to a number of the upcoming events that are happening soon, such as Halloween, which later this week, bonfire night at the weekend,  Black Friday and Cyber  Monday  in November and then of course t in December it’s Christmas.

Content marketing planning on a tablet computerIt’s really important f to be thinking about how you can be writing blogs and sharing other content on social media relating to these events, particularly for your products and services that are linked to them, so you can really boost your marketing activities, focusing on the run up to them, so that your that you potential customers know about your offerings and are given the opportunity to buy from you.

Using these events are a great way to develop your content marketing strategy, so draw up a calendar of the key events in the calendar, whether they are national or international events such a Christmas, events that are local to your location, such as a local festival or carnival, or something specific to your industry and then spend some time creating content relating to those events, as far in advance as possible.

By planning in advance, you will also have plenty of time to develop any materials you want to use, be it images, flyers, posters or videos. Whatever you need to prepare, try to design them in a way that allows you to repurpose them across all your digital platforms, including Facebook,Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as using them for blog posts on your wevbsite, as this will increase your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).


Rob Osborne of Red Knight SolutionsIf you need any help preparing you content marketing plan, please call Red Knight Solutions on 02392 265725 or e-mail us at enquiries@redknightsolutions.co.uk

Digital Marketing Summit Southampton 2017 – my thoughts

Digital Marketing Summit Southampton 2017 – my thoughts

I spent Thursday and Friday of last week at the Southampton Digital Marketing Summit 2017 #DMSSO17, and am providing so feedback on my findings from the two-day event.

It was a really good event but it was interesting that a lot of it was focused on search, either search engine optimization or pay-per-click advertising but there were some really interesting statistics that came out from it.

They now reckon that over 60% of searches are on mobile and one of the most interesting ones is probably that 20% of searches that are currently done through the Google app are done by voice and that by 2020 they are predicting that actually 50% of all searches will be done by voice which is something you really need to think about with your business, promoting your business online and how you’re going to link with that particularly with the fact that actually a lot of voice searches are linked to local searches as well. In addition, you need to think about the devices that are driving voice searches and what they use for a search engine behind the scenes – Alexa from Amazon and Microsoft Cortana are both powered by Bing. Siri from Apple was using Bing until September this year.

Another hot topic they were talking about at the summit was a major rise in paid adverts across digital marketing platforms and how these can now be targeted very much at your custom audiences so that’s something to think about.

One interesting observation from me was that there wasn’t that big an emphasis at the summit on social media. There were a couple of sessions but it really was focusing on the whole content marketing, search engine marketing side of things and I can understand why that appearing in search results is more likely to lead to sales as people are looking for your services at that time (this is called attraction marketing) rather than your advert appearing on social media and hoping somebody will visit it, known as interruption marketing.

 

What do I do with my video now?

What do I do with my video now?


Video is great for promoting your business, but once you’ve made the decision to get one or more videos produced and you’ve been given the video files, what should you do with them?
The obvious answers are put it on your website and share it on all your social media channels – but how do you do all those things?

Posting your video on your website

When you put your video on your website, don’t make the mistake of loading the video file to your website, as your website hosting platform won’t be optimised for streaming video, so your video won’t play very well when people visit your website.

Video Hosting Platforms

YOuTube LogoThe two most well-known video hosting platforms are YouTube and Vimeo, which both allow you to set up free accounts or channels. There are other video hosting platforms, such as Wistia, but these charge for their services.
I tend to use YouTube, because it is the second most used search engine on the internet, is owned by Google and you can link your Google Analytics for your website with your YouTube channel so you can get all your Google performance metrics in one place.

Once you have put your video on your hosting platform, you need to embed the video onto your website. It’s fairly easy to do this, on YouTube you click on the share button, go to the Embed tab, copy the line of HTML code that is shown and then copy this into your web page at the place you want to embed it on your web page. Note that there are some options available to you when you create the embed code, including video size, so choose the settings that you want.

When you embed the video on your web page, think about where you want the video to appear. In general, it is best to put the video as near to the top of your web page as possible, as you want website visitors to watch it and they are more likely to do this if they see it at the top of the page.

Posting your video on Social Media

Social Media Logos Montage - Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - Pinterest - InstagramAlthough it is possible to share your video from YouTube, it is better to post the video natively onto the social media channels you are looking to share it on, as the algorithms they use for deciding whether to share your post with others all favour video hosted locally over video links. Loading videos locally onto each social media platform will also give you access to post insights. Facebook in particular provides some very detailed insights to how your video is being watched and there is a second level of detail provided about the audience once the video has been viewed 100 times.
Uploading video works the same across all the platforms, but they do have some nuances that you need to be aware of.

facebook logoFacebook

When you load a video onto Facebook, the system will select 10 thumbnail images from the video and you can choose which you want to use. You can also load a custom thumbnail if you don’t like any of the options available to you.
Facebook also has a very good tool for adding captions to videos and as over 90% of video views are made with the sound off, it is advisable to add captions if your video doesn’t have captions already. It is possible to export the captions file to reuse elsewhere, should you wish.

Twitter LogoTwitter

Twitter is fussier about the video files you can load. It only allows you to load .mp4 and .mov formats and the video files must be less than 512 Mb in size.

Instagram LogoInstagram

Instagram will only let you load videos that are less than 1-minute-long and you can only load files from your mobile device – there isn’t a facility to load a video from a desktop browser.

linkedin logoLinkedIn

LinkedIn is currently rolling out a facility to load videos natively, but this is only available from the mobile client.

What to do with your social media posts

Once you have your video on your social media platform, there are things you can do to increase their exposure. On Facebook you can share your post into relevant groups. On Twitter you can get people to like and/or retweet your posts and similarly you can do this on Instagram. Follow this link on more ideas for sharing content.


Rob Osborne of Red Knight SolutionsIf you need more help or advice on what to do with your posts, please call me or leave a message and I will be happy to pass on my advice. If you are looking to get videos produced, let me know by calling the Red Knight Solutions offices on 02392 265725.

 

 

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

Although some people say that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not important, or is not an activity you should include in your digital marketing strategy, we disagree. However, you it is easy to make mistakes with SEO. We’ve just come across this great infographic featuring 25+ Common SEO mistakes, that was originally produced by bluehostcouponcodes.in

Common SEO Mistakes Infographic

If you need any help with your SEO, please call us on 02392 265725 or e-mail us at enquiries@redknightsolutions.co.uk and we will be happy to let you know how we can help.

 

 

What types of video does your business need?

What types of video does your business need?

Why use video to market your business?

Video has become one of the most important parts of any digital marketing strategy. Research shows that 1 minute of video is as powerful as 1 million words of text, 85% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service after watching a marketing video and video content is 12 times more likely to be shared on social media than regular images.

Once you have decided that you need video, you need to consider the different ways a video can be used to promote your business and then decide which ones are best for you.

So, what types of video can you have and how and where should you use them?

Overview of company services video

This video provides a high-level overview of the different goods and services that your business provides and should be one of the first videos you consider producing.You don’t want to make the video too long, but it should give a good, clear overview of what your business does and the benefits a customer will gain from working with you.

You would want to have this shown on the home page of your website and if you have a web page giving an overview of services then you would include it there too. You will also want to share this on all your social media channels and you may want to consider pinning the post that features this video to the top of your social media feeds so it is clearly in view for anybody looking at you. If you have a Facebook business page, you can consider using this video as your page banner, as Facebook has now rolled out the facility.

Product / Service description videos

You should consider producing a video highlighting the benefits and features of each of your services or products. The video should feature the benefits potential customers will gain from using your goods or services. Once produced, the video should feature on the appropriate product/service page on your website, as well as being featured on your social media channels.

If you write a blog post featuring any of your products or services, you should feature your appropriate product or service video too.

Promotional video

Promotional videos can be used for marketing any sales or product promotions you are currently running. The video should feature the benefits of the product or service you are promoting, along with details of the promotion and how long the promotion is running for.

You can also use video to promote any events you are running or any occasions where you are exhibiting or speaking. Make sure you feature all relevant details, such as the location, date and if relevant the time you will be there.

 

Customer Testimonial videos

Having a video of your customers providing a testimonial about your product or service is an extremely powerful marketing message, so you should look to create some of these as soon as the opportunity arises. You should ask your customers if they are willing to be recorded when providing you with a testimonial and record this if they are willing.

For many businesses it can be difficult to get customers to be available or willing to be on camera to record a testimonial, so an alternate style is get customers to provide written testimonials and to turn these into slideshow videos.

 

Video Logos

You will notice that all of the example videos shown feature a video logo. Having a custom video logo created for you helps to present a powerful, coherent branding for your business throughout your video marketing.

 

Case study videos

Case studies are a great way to demonstrate how your customers have benefited from your goods and services. Explaining these in a video is a very strong way to get your message across, telling the story of the work you have done for your client and how it has benefited them.

 

 

What to do with your videos

Your videos should feature on all the relevant pages on your website. It is best to do this by hosting the video on a video hosting site such as YouTube, Vimeo or Wistea and embedding the hosted video into your web page rather than trying to host the video directly onto your website, as these hosting sites are optimised to stream video and have the bandwidth needed to do this, where your website probably doesn’t.

You should also share your videos on your social media channels. It is best to upload your video to each of the channels rather than sharing the hosted link, as all social media channels have now optimised the algorithms they use so that it favours videos hosted locally. This means that videos loaded directly to each social media channel are more likely to appear in people’s timelines.


If you are considering using videos for your business and would like to know more about the video production services we can offer you, please call on 02392 265725 or e-mail video@redknightsolutions.co.uk

 

Why you need a digital marketing strategy

Why you need a digital marketing strategy

It is really important to have a digital marketing strategy and at Red Knight Solutions we have developed a 6 step process for developing a successful digital marketing strategy. We will work with you to help you develop and implement yours.

The 6 steps are:

  1. Know WHAT you are promoting;
  2. Know WHO your target audience is;
  3. Know HOW to engage with them digitally;
  4. Develop a detailed plan showing WHEN you will be doing things;
  5. Take regular Action, following your plan;
  6. Measure the outcomes

The most common mistake companies make is to start doing digital marketing, often just trying to copy the latest trend, without developing a detailed picture of what they are promoting and who they are promoting it to. The outcome is normally an expensive disappointment.

Know what you are promoting

Build up a detailed picture of the product or service you are looking to promote digitally. This should include a detailed description of what the product or service is, what problems it solves, the benefits gained from the people using it, how much it costs to produce, how much you can afford to spend on marketing it, profit margins that you are generating, whether there are any associated products you can upsell, whether these are likely to be one-off or repeat purchases.

 Who you are marketing to

The detailed picture should include age, gender, existing or new customers, location, what their needs, wants and fears are, how they are likely to want to be approached, what their likely budgets are going to be and whether they are business customers or consumers.

Know how to engage with them digitally

Now you have your detailed pictures of your product and customers you can consider all the options available to you for digital marketing. You need to consider which are the best social media options to reach your target market and how best to use more traditional web tools.

Develop a detailed plan

Your plan should detail how you are going to use each of the digital marketing options, when you are going to use them, how you are going to use them and who is going to be doing these for you. You should also include details of budgets available, as although some digital marketing options are free, others will need to be paid for.

Take Action

This may appear to go against the advice this article is laying out, but it is important to take action, quickly once you have your plan laid out.  One of the slogans that Facebook use in their offices is “Break things – Fast”, which is good … provided you fix them fast too.

Measure your success

Make use of all the available digital marketing tools to keep an eye on your digital marketing campaign. Use Google Analytics to see how visitors to your website are increasing and what they are doing, use the analytical tools available on social media platforms to measure the effects of your social media activities and other tools to track your progress up the Search Engine rankings.

Do more of what is working well, do less or even stop doing things that aren’t working and don’t be afraid of trying new things either, as digital marketing is evolving all the time.


Help with your strategy

Although it sounds simple to develop and implement a digital marketing strategy, there is a lot of expert knowledge required to do it right. If you would like to know more about the services we offer to help you develop and implement a strategy, call us on 02392 265725, e-mail us at enquries@redknightsolutions.co.uk or fill in the form below:

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Digital Marketing in 2017 – Predicting the big things for next year

Digital Marketing in 2017 – Predicting the big things for next year

Desk Calendar Representing Year Two Thousand Seventeen

As 2016 comes to an end and 2017 looms over the horizon, I thought it was time to stare into my crystal ball and see if I can predict the big things that will happen with digital marketing in 2017. It will be fun to look back at this post towards the end of 2017 to see which, if any of them, will come true.

Video – even more important in 2017.

Video cameraLet’s start with something that’s a safe prediction – video will be even more important for digital marketing in 2017 than it is in 2016, which is saying something as it’s a major influence in Facebook and Twitter’s algorithm already.  The functionality of Facebook Live will continue to be enhanced and the use of Facebook Live will get even better results in their algorithm.

There have also been announcements of live video streaming developments both for Twitter and Instagram and I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn and others followed suit.

In summary, you really need to include using video within your digital marketing mix in 2017.

Augmented Reality and 3D

Augmented and Virtual Reality ConceptThe success of Pokemon Go earlier this year was the first real demonstration of augmented reality, where the digital world was overlaid on the real world, in real-time. There will be more games like this in 2017 and this will lead to digital marketing opportunities for business.

The 3D world is also developing at pace. Facebook has made an investment in this technology, as our many of the games consoles and Samsung are now promoting a 360-degree camera to support it, so it’s coming. I don’t think it will be big in 2017 but I can see it happening in 2018.

Google – it’s plans will influence your website

Google LogoGoogle will continue to refine its algorithm and these will focus on improving the ranking of websites that perform well on mobile devices, so your website needs to be designed for mobile. Key things to focus on are a mobile responsive design, use of AMP pages and quick loading pages. I predict a further refinement to Google Adwords too. Oh and don’t forget to post those videos onto your website too.

 Social Media

Facebook

facebook logoFacebook will continue to go from strength to strength. Video and Facebook Live will become increasingly important and influential in the performance of posts. I am expecting some augmented reality and virtual reality features to be introduced in 2017, but these technologies are still in the development and experimental phase so it is difficult to predict exactly how this will be done. Back the right option and you will get an advantage but there will be many false starts. The developments that have started in Messenger for businesses will continue to deliver additional features.

LinkedIn

linkedin logoLinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft in 2016 and I believe that their influence on LinkedIn will grow in 2017. Some areas of LinkedIn, such as the company page, have already been revisited and revamped and this will continue across 2017. I can see groups being re-vamped as LinkedIn groups seem to have lost out to Facebook groups in recent years.

Twitter

Twitter LogoTwitter is going to have an interesting 2017 and its success or otherwise will depend on who eventually buys Twitter and the direction of travel they take it in. Salesforce were rumoured to be the most likely buyer and if this is the case then there is the potential for some exciting developments towards the end of 2017, assuming the sale takes place early in 2017. Whatever happens as far as the potential sale, I predict there will be enhancements made to the paid advertising feature.

Other social media

Pinterest and Instagram will continue their rise in prominence within the digital marketing sphere and there will be a social media channel that develops from left-field. I don’t know which one but either SnapChat or WhatsApp appear to be well placed.

Is this the year of the small business app?

I read an article recently that predicted the death of websites and the advent of app only internet marketing. I wouldn’t go that far, but I can see the introduction of simple apps for small businesses becoming more popular, especially as we consuming so much of our digital information via mobile devices and apps work so well on them … definitely one to keep an eye on and even if it doesn’t happen in 2017 it is going to happen in the next few years.

Summary

In summary, it will be interesting to revisit this post regularly during 2017 to see which, if any, of these predictions comes true.

Finally, I would just like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year, where digital marketing plays a big part in your success.


Helping you with your digital marketing

If you would like help with your Facebook marketing or any other aspects of your digital marketing, call Red Knight Solutions on 02392 265725 or e-mail us at enquiries@redknightsolutions.co.uk  to find out more about how we can help your business thrive online.

 

Business owners – don’t be frustrated by Facebook. 5 ways to boost your post.

Business owners – don’t be frustrated by Facebook. 5 ways to boost your post.

Are you a business owner who is frustrated by the impact of your posts on your Facebook business page? Despite working hard to gain lots of likes for your page, Facebook is hardly showing your posts to any of your followers – statistics show that often less than 1% of people who have liked your page will see your post.

If this sounds familiar, despair no longer, here are 5 tips to follow that will see your post reach increase dramatically.

Facebook loves Video.

Video is the number 1 way to boost your posts, as Facebook loves video and its algorithm is heavily weighted to extend the reach of posts that feature video. If you really want your post to reach its maximum potential use Facebook Live for the video feed, as Facebook is really promoting Facebook live.

If you’re not comfortable using Facebook live then produce a video, but load it onto Facebook if possible rather than hosting it on YouTube or any other video hosting platform, as Facebook does favour hosted video. If you are producing a video, it is also a good idea to include captions on the video or produce the video in such a way that it communicates its message without sound, as a high proportion of the people that will see your video on Facebook will do so with the sounds off.

A further benefit of having the video hosted on Facebook is the detailed analytics that Facebook provides you with.

Goals On Monitor - boosted reach for Facebook PostInclude a picture when you post on Facebook.

If you are unable or unwilling to include a video, include one or more photographs with your post. Facebook likes seeing photos with posts and it is also more eye catching in timelines that Facebook does add your post to.

If you can post several pictures that relate to a post, then you should use these to create a slideshow. There are facilities for doing this in Facebook or you could you a tool like Animoto or ripl. Facebook will treat a slideshow you have created as a video.

Encourage Interactions with your post.

Facebook Like and ShareIf people are reacting to your post, the Facebook algorithm will give your post a boost. There are three types of interaction you should try to encourage, sharing, commenting and liking. They all have an impact.

Sharing your post.

You can extend the reach of your Facebook post by sharing your business page post into any groups you are a member of where your post will be of interest. You should also share your post on your timeline.

facebook emotionsWhen sharing your post, you should include a comment that encourages interaction from group members – shares and comments seem to have the biggest impact on posts, but likes have influence too.

If you employ staff, you should encourage them to interact with your post and share it. If you know other business owners, then you should consider asking them to share your post too, with a reciprocal offer of sharing their posts too.

Page Settings

There are numerous business page settings that affect where and how your post will appear on Facebook, most notably your preferred page audience. Use these to let Facebook know who your target audience is and your posts are more likely to appear on the timeline of people who match this description. There are options available to help with selection across the 150 odd attributes that Facebook holds about its users.

Facebook Boost Post ButtonBoosting your post

If all else fails, you can consider boosting your post. If you decide that you want to boost your post, don’t press the boost post button, but got into the ads manager to boost the post. This is because Facebook advertising manager lets you choose what the purpose of boosting your post is and if you look closely at the options available, boosting your post doesn’t necessarily achieve the outcome you would expect it to.


Rob Osborne of Red Knight SolutionsHelping you with Facebook

If you would like help with your Facebook marketing or any other aspects of your digital marketing, call Red Knight Solutions on 02392 265725 or e-mail us at enquiries@redknightsolutions.co.uk  to find out more about how we can help your business thrive online.