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By 2015, it is estimated that close to a billion consumers will be using mobile devices only (no laptoapp-or-websit1ep, no desktop), and many others will be using their mobile devices more often than their other devices. For small businesses, this means that maintaining a mobile presence is highly important, if not essential.

The main choice many business owners face is, “Should I have a mobile website or an app?” Luckily, the answer is clear: both!

 

Recently,  500 small businesses were surveyed that have mobile websites and apps, and 81% said both are equally important!  Here are the highlights:

Mobile website versus mobile app:

  • Value. 61% said an app provided a better return on investment.
  • Customer preference. 81% said customers preferred the app to the mobile website.
  • New customer generation. 75% said app was better for customer generation.
  • Repeat business. 86% said app was better for creating repeat customers.
  • Usage. 61% said app was used more often.

The app pretty clearly has the edge in the opinion of most small business owners. But that doesn’t mean that apps are right for everyone. The infographic found at the right contains the rest of our findings, and a wealth of information for small businesses considering “going mobile.”

Online video is being watched more than ever before according to 2012's comScore report.  The total number of video streams was up 44% from 2010 to 2011, with 43.5 billion views by the end of the year.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg for Internet video, as views are expected to be up at least as much in 2012.  The increase is due in part to better video quality and original, created-for-web content that can be syndicated across multiple platforms. 

So where do you find all of these videos?  The study shows that Google sites garner half of the US video market at 50.4 percent with second place going to VEVO third place to Hulu. There are over 3 billion  videos viewed on YouTube every day not to mention that YouTube is the second largest search engine.. 

So what does this mean for your company?  Use video is what it means.  There are many ways to use video for your company including:

  • Company info video - What is your company about?  What do you do?  How can you help your potential customer?
  • How to videos - Are there how to-s you can video for your visitors - how to change a furnace filter, how to use Quickbooks, how to use a flat iron to curl your hair, how to check windows for air leaks, how to teach your dog to sit and many, many more.
  • FAQ videos - Answer questions for your customers that you are asked frequently or that are more informative in video than in writing.  How long will it take for the incision to heal, how do I set up my email account on my phone, etc.  The possibilities are endless.
  • Instructional videos for employee training, sales tools, etc.
  • Fun videos on different topics in your industry.

How long should the video be?  The average length of an online video is 5.8 minutes.  Keep in mind not to make it too long, as you can only hold their attention for a small length of time.  For a company video, we recommend 2 to 2-1/2 minutes.  For how-to and FAQ video, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes in length. For fun videos or instructional videos, those can be longer in length.

Try it out and see the visibility it can bring to your company.  Remember, if a picture is worth a video is worth a million.

 

 



Last we we discussed setting up a YouTube Channel and making a Brand Channel out of it.  This week we are going to discuss how to get the word out.

There are many avenues you can choose to get the word out about your YouTube Channel.  The first is to post the videos and links to your channel on your website.  Then share them on your social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  You can also share them on your blog and via email marketing by adding the link into your email blasts.  YouTube also makes it easy to share videos and make sure to ask your audience (customers) to subscribe to your channel.

YouTube also provides advertising options for brands.  You can advertise with a promoted video, which allows advertisers to choose which keywords their video will show up next to and only pay when a viewer clicks on the promotion and watches the video.  Other options include a partner-watch program that allows companies to advertise next to content partners; in-stream display ads, homepages ads, customer marketing programs, YouTube mobile ads and more.

Once your channel is up and running, make sure to review your strategy.  The most important aspect of any marketing plan is the analytics, because these numbers show how successful or unsuccessful the project is.

Sometimes it can be difficult to analyze how video views turn into conversions.  YouTube provides many statistics to help brand channel managers analyze the popularity of specific content.  Recently YouTube updated its analytics data with the launch of YouTube Analyitcs.  This is a tool that provides a quick overview of important information, detailed  reports, as well as how much of a video the viewers are actually watching.

These statistics allow brands to analyze what type of content is the most popular with its audience.
YouTube combines two of the hottest online marketing trends today, video and social media.  The platform receives more than 800 million unique visitors every month and more than 3 billion videos are viewed on the site every day.  YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google.  So, do you have a YouTube Channel yet?

First go to www.YouTube.com and complete the basic setup process.  Once that is complete, a business must send its username to a YouTube representative and request to have the account converted into a brand channel.  Brand channels offer features that aren't available on standard channels, like a channel banner image, side column image and video page banner.  They also provide the ability to specify demographic filters and offer user tracking.

Once your channel has been converted to a brand channel, customization is the next and most important step. During this process, the brand is starting to set the tone of the channel.  You should remember that the final channel appearance and content should be cohesive.

Next it is time to start creating content.  You can produce many different types of videos for your company from a company overview to product or service overviews, client testimonials and how-to videos.  One thing to remember is to keep your videos short.  A good video length is between 45 seconds and two minutes.  If it requires longer, think about spitting it up into a series so that your audience does not get bored or overwhelmed with information.  The quality of the video is more important than the quantity. 

Next time we will talk about how to use your videos and spread the word.

by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media

The key part of this series is to show you that online videos are one part of an online marketing campaign.  You should already have your marketing plan determined and know how it will be leveraged across all of the various parts of your online strategy.  You also should have a Facebook Page and a Twitter account as well as a website and a blog.  A few more tips for you are:
  1. Set up accounts and channels with all of the major video-sharing sites.  YouTube is the most popular, but you should also have accounts on sites such as Vimeo, Google, Metacafe and Dailymotion.
  2. Customize your channel to keep the look and feel as professional as possible.  Keep your background .jpg as simple and uncluttered as possible.
  3. Connect all of your sites together.  Provide links to your Facebook and Twitter pages through your YouTube channel and vice versa.  Facebook has an app that helps you embed your videos on your page and you can also create custom pages to host your videos on Facebook.
  4. Upload your videos.  You can use YouTube's uploader, but if you are putting your video on several sites, TubeMogul offers a great service that will let you put your videos to all the major video-sharing sites and also provides analytis for them.
  5. Make sure people can share your videos by clearly providing links.
  6. Promote your videos.  Tweet about them, blog about them, let your Facebook friends know about them, etc.  If you can, pay for advertising space on the Web.
Have fun with videos and watch how successful they can be in promoting your brand and your company.

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