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.
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
The 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
Although 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.
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 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 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 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.
If 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.
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:
Know WHAT you are promoting;
Know WHO your target audience is;
Know HOW to engage with them digitally;
Develop a detailed plan showing WHEN you will be doing things;
Take regular Action, following your plan;
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.
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 email@example.com or fill in the form below:
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.
Let’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
The 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 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.
Facebook 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 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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how we can help your business thrive online.
I hadn’t really warmed to Twitter until recently. Yes, I tweeted some content and followed people who followed me, but I wasn’t really focusing on Twitter as a social media channel for promoting Red Knight Solutions and my following was fairly small.
However, I was asked to do a session on Twitter at an Elite Digital Mastermind group recently so in preparation for that session I have been working on my Twitter presence and have been pleasantly surprised to see my Twitter follower count jump from 400 to over 515 in a week, which is a rise of over 25%, so I thought I’d share some details of what I have been doing so you can consider doing it too.
Changing my use of Twitter
The first change in practice I’ve made is Tweeting to people who follow me as I follow them back, rather than just pressing the follow button and leaving it at that. I had already used Crowdfire to send a message to each person as they followed me, but I now I type a quick thank you tweet to them. I’m spending quite a lot of time on trains at the moment so I normally do this whilst travelling – mobile signal permitting, of course.
I’ve also started using Social Jukebox to set up regular tweets. This comes with a jukebox full of quotes which I have left running and a jukebox that I am using to quote links to my site and other relevant digital marketing material – a link to this blog will be added very soon. I have also done some tweaking to the quotes jukebox, creating pictures for some of the quotes and adding them to the quotes in the jukebox and this will be an ongoing activity as I quite like the idea. I have also added some additional quotes from other sources – my next challenge is to make some quotes of my own that I think are worthy of sharing.
I am continuing to also tweet interesting and relevant links from digital marketing articles I find and have become more conscious of ensuring that I include Twitter as one of the places to share information, whereas before I mainly focused on Facebook.
These actions mean that the number of tweets I am making has increased considerably, which has also lead to more interaction with my followers.
Along with increased activity on Twitter, I have spent some time updating some of the company profile. I have updated the profile picture to use our new logo and I have also updated the header photo to include a picture of me. One thing I learnt when updating the profile picture was to ensure that you have the minimum height and width to 400 pixels. I was getting very frustrated initially as the logo picture I was using was 400 pixels wide but not that high and Twitter kept shrinking it. Once I set the background to be 400 x 400 pixels it all worked fine.
Learning Twitter the hard way
It’s not all been plain sailing though, as I experimented with linking Twitter to my personal Facebook page and on through to the Red Knight Solutions Facebook page and for a few days I was getting regular posts on my Facebook page from Tweet Jukebox. The good news was that some my friends had conversations about some of the quotes that were posted, but it didn’t feel right to me so I have turned that feature off.
A really useful tool within Twitter that I have just learnt about is the creation and use of lists. One of my biggest frustrations with Twitter has been that as the number of people you follow and who follow you grows, your timeline becomes really noisy. However, if you create lists of people you are really looking to keep a close eye on, such as clients, potential clients or major influencers in your field, you can use them to see just those you are interested in. This allows you to start using the tools on Twitter, such as likes, retweets and quoting tweets, focusing on those you have added to your lists.
I have mentioned a number of tools I have started using and the world of Twitter seems to have an abundance of tools and add-ons that you can use to make your Twitter experience better. Whilst doing research about Twitter tools I did come across this blog which lists over 90 useful Twitter tools. Please feel free to research them further and if you find any of them are useful please let me know.
If you would like help getting more out of Twitter or any other social media channel please get in contact with Red Knight Solutions by calling 02392 265725 and we would be happy to help you develop your digital marketing strategy and ensure it is making good use of Twitter.