Accelerate your marketing with the MarTech Power Pack

Are you responsible for ensuring your organization thrives in this software-powered world? Then the MarTech Power Pack is for you. You’ll gain insights, ideas, and strategies you can use to accelerate your marketing and marketing organization. Brought to you by the Martech conferences, the Power…

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After Windows 10 bump & Yahoo deal, Microsoft’s search revenue growth looks stagnant

Search ad revenues are growing, but the rate has been slowing. LinkedIn sessions were up more than 20 percent from the prior quarter. The post After Windows 10 bump & Yahoo deal, Microsoft’s search revenue growth looks stagnant appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos

Video is a powerful medium for content marketing.

According to Forbes, the second largest search engine in the world is YouTube. Billions of people are looking for videos to watch every single day.

Maybe that’s because you can’t beat video for storytelling. Need evidence? Look to films and television. The combination of visuals, sound, and movement add up to emotional resonance.

Videos are also easy to digest – just sit back and watch. They’re especially effective for how-tos, explaining concepts and illustrating ideas. Plus, as technology gets better and better, it’s becoming easier and easier to stream videos from anywhere, on any platform, on any device.

Videos also hit some requirements for good content – they’re useful and informative. For an example, check out this tutorial from Express Writers that shows you how to order from our Content Shop:

Finally, don’t forget videos are a fresh type of content that adds energy to an already-crowded, staid sea of blogs, articles, posts, and infographics.

These are all good reasons why video marketing is so of-the-moment. There’s one quid pro quo, however.

Videos provide a level of engagement that’s perfect for some types of content – but not all.

The question that remains: When should you utilize the power of video marketing? When should you refrain?

Most importantly, what are some low-cost, easy ways to produce videos for your content?

When Is Video Content Marketing the Right Move?

You can’t produce videos for every content need. Videos take a bit more time and effort than writing up a blog post or researching an article. When you do decide to use a video as your medium, it has to be worth it.

Content Marketing Institute says that you have to ask yourself an honest question when thinking about creating video content. If you removed the sound and visuals and the benefits they provide, would anything about the story get lost in translation?

If the answer is “no,” skip the video. You can tell your story just as effectively through written content. If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then producing a video could take your content to the next level.

Here are some ideas that could get you rolling. Customize them depending on your brand, what you sell, and your industry:

  • Film a behind-the-scenes video that takes your viewers inside your operations, to an exclusive event, or some other place they wouldn’t normally get to access.
  • Film a reaction video to a hot-button topic or event in your industry. Line it up with your brand values.
  • Do thorough product reviews that showcase features, shortcomings, and benefits.
  • Create a how-to video that simplifies a complex process.

To underline just how integral video and visual content is for your marketing, take a look at this snippet of an infographic from AdWeek. Bottom line: People crave it.

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There’s a lot that video can do for you. Now that you have some ideas to get you started, how do you go about producing videos? Here are some tips, tricks, and tools that will make it easier.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos for Your Content Roster

You don’t need fancy equipment to create compelling videos for content marketing. In fact, you probably have one of the only tools you’ll need right in your pocket – your Smartphone.

This leads us to the first big tip.

1. Use the Equipment You Already Have

You may not have the budget to either buy or rent fancy video equipment. However, there’s a simpler option.

Nowadays, Smartphones are equipped with great cameras. Use this to your advantage. The footage will have slightly lower quality than if you used professional equipment, but you can mask that with good shooting techniques and superb editing.

2. Invest in Accessories

Accessories for your Smartphone that help you get a steadier shot are inexpensive investments. Did you know you can get a tripod for your Apple device for less than 30 bucks? That cost is totally worth it for a steady, smooth shot – i.e., no amateur, headache-inducing shaky camera.

Another good, inexpensive investment is a microphone that hooks up to your device via the headphone jack. This tool will help you get clearer sound no matter the conditions. This means windy days and background chatter are no problem.

3. Get Different Angles

While shooting, create more visual interest by getting different angles of your subject. This is a good technique to use if you’re filming wide-angle shots of an event or landscape, or if you’re trying to show off the different features of a product.

Various angles will show your viewers every detail. This will help them feel like they’re right there with you, which is far more compelling than one long, steady, unchanging shot.

4. Use the Right Software

The right video editing software can help you create the exact look and feel you’re going for. There are limitless options for creating custom videos with your own footage, animated videos using templates, slide presentations, and more.

To create fun animated videos quickly, try one of these:

Here’s a screengrab that showcases an animated video LinkNYC created using Powtoon:

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To edit basic video clips, including cutting footage, fine-tuning audio, tweaking brightness and contrast, and adding text, here are some good options. Some of these are apps you can use right on your phone:

Nutshell, in particular, is a super-simple app that uses very few elements to create a fun video. Here’s an example video from Buffer that shows us how it’s done (the possibilities for this could be endless):

5. Use Stock Images, Clips, and Royalty-Free Music

Many programs include the use of backgrounds, stock photos, mini clips, and royalty-free music in their editing offerings. However, if you’re using a basic program, you can nab these for yourself to jazz up your video content.

Some good stock image sources:

Great sources for royalty-free music (for background sound or mood music):

Stock videos (some of these are free!):

There are so many fantastic resources out there for video creation. Dig in and play around. You may come up with something truly snazzy!

Add Zip and Pizazz to your Content Marketing with Videos

If you’re struggling to stand out in a crowded market, videos could be your way to the top. They’re a fresh means to present information and speak to your readers. You could end up turning more of those casual visitors into customers with this energetic approach.


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Julia dropped out of college to follow her passion in tech and writing, and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she’s been named among the top 30 content marketers, is the founder and CEO of leading content agency Express Writers, hosts the Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is a published, best-selling author. She’s also the creator of a brand new, leading industry course, The Practical Content Strategist Certification Course.

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Marketing Day: Chatbots, content production models & Microsoft’s earnings report

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

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SearchCap: YouTube redirects, Bing search ad growth & expanded text ads

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. The post SearchCap: YouTube redirects, Bing search ad growth & expanded text ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Twitter Says Its Crack Down on Abuse is Working

There is much less abuse on Twitter today than there was at the beginning of 2017, the social media site claims.

Twitter said although there is “still much work to be done,” it is now taking action on 10 times the amount of abusive accounts compared to the same time period last year. It is also limiting account functionality or suspending “thousands more” abusive accounts on a daily basis.

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 9.25.15 AM“There are repeat offenders who create new accounts after being suspended for violations,” Twitter consumer product and engineering general manager Ed Ho said in a blog post.

“Our new systems, in the last four months alone, have removed twice the number of these types of accounts. Beyond the technology, our teams are continuing to review content daily and improve how we enforce our policies.”

Ho said contacting the senders of abusive tweets has been the key to Twitter’s success in addressing the issue. Now, accounts responsible for abusive tweets have limits placed on them for a set period of time and the account holder is told why the company has opted to do so. Ho said these accounts generate 25 percent fewer abuse reports and 65 percent of them only have to be put into a limited state once to convince the owners to watch their words.

Twitter’s quality filter tool, which allows users to mute keywords and filter out notifications, has led to a 40 percent decrease in blocks after @mentions from accounts they don’t follow.

“We have consistent harassment definitions and policies that apply to everyone,” Ho said. “However, people define abuse differently, so using these new tools, every person has control of what they see and experience on Twitter.”

Twitter first launched its new set of tools to surface safer search results and collapse potentially abusive or low-quality tweets back in February. The tools were also part of the company’s efforts to prevent trolls from creating new abusive accounts.

 


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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The impact of intermediaries: How brands can close the gap between themselves and consumers

As millennials and Gen Z shoppers shape the future of retail, contributor Davor Sutija explains why brands need to embrace technologies that will help them keep pace and bridge the digital gap.

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How to navigate the somewhat rocky transition to expanded text ads

Still avoiding the switch to expanded text ads? Columnist Ted Ives has some advice to easing your way into Google’s new AdWords ad format. The post How to navigate the somewhat rocky transition to expanded text ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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New eCommerce Packaging Options Can Improve Profit Margins

What do you think of when you see a cardboard box? Likely not much. But when you are running an eCommerce site, a cardboard box symbolizes endless possibilities. Packaging is also a necessary, albeit often overlooked, part of the eCommerce process even though the packaging you choose says a lot about your store. It can also affect your bottom line. In fact, a number of these new eCommerce packaging options can actually improve your profit margins.

Going Green with Sustainable Packaging

Cardboard boxes, tape, address labels… all of these supplies can cost a lot of money; and when you add the gas burned during shipping, a lot of CO2 too. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s time to reimagine your packaging options.

Why not take advantage of flexible packaging? Unlike cardboard boxes, which are big and bulky, flexible packaging is slim and lightweight. Flexible packaging can be made from recyclable or compostable materials which have a tiny environmental impact compared to plastic bags and packing peanuts.

Not only is flexible packaging better for the environment, it’s actually cheaper to ship. According to Packaging Digest, ”One truckload of flexible packaging is equivalent to 26 truckloads of glass jars.” Flexible packaging is easier to ship because it is lighter and less-space intensive, which can mean big savings for you.

Finally, sustainable packaging is a point of pride for many eCommerce vendors because it helps showcase their brand as a forward-thinking and responsible business. So, go ahead. Share the good work you are doing with your customers in your FAQ or ‘about us’ sections of your website.

Specialty Packaging for Memorable Merchandise

Let’s say your virtual store is all about personality – shouldn’t your packaging match that personality? After all, you used an eCommerce store builder to create a site with bold colors and charismatic branding. Complete the customer experience with packaging that complements your products.

For example, if you sell custom-made jewelry, it might make sense to send your goods in a decorative box filled with confetti or affixed with a card. This means everything in the mind of a shopper. You’ve turned a simple delivery into a gift, from your heart to theirs.

Of course, this isn’t the only option. Some eCommerce vendors have great success inserting stickers, coupons, freebies and promos into their packaging. The hope here is that the buyer will advertise your store by placing the sticker on their car or computer; or shop with you again as prompted by the coupons and promos.

What can you come up with to improve your customer experience and keep them coming back for more?

Fragile Products: Handle with Care

If you are shipping fragile items, take the utmost care to deliver them without breakage. A broken item can really botch your efforts for sustainability and sink your favorability with the customer. This could result in complaints, negatives reviews and pricey returns.

According to the aforementioned Packaging Daily article, “Returns can cause the most waste and ecological harm.” That’s bad news for you, and bad news for Earth.

If you are sending fragile items through the mail, you may want to explore your options. Start by picking an appropriate outer material, such as a double-wall corrugated box. Next, select a material to wrap around your merchandise to protect it from hard impacts, such as bubble wrap or foam bags. Finally, choose a material to fill the void in the box. This could include packing peanuts, air cushions or scrunched up paper.

Remember, it’s always better to be overly cautious when it comes to fragile items. With these new eCommerce packaging options, you can also improve your bottom line, even while shipping more safely and more securely.


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Here’s what performance advertisers are saying about Quora’s new ad platform

Whether they’ve been on the platform for one month or seven, advertiser feedback is strikingly similar: We like the performance — when can we scale?

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Marshall McLuhan Google doodle pays tribute to ‘The medium is the message’ media theorist

In his 1962 book “Understanding Media,” McLuhan argued that the way people receive information is more important than the information being received. The post Marshall McLuhan Google doodle pays tribute to ‘The medium is the message’ media theorist appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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The Next Frontier: 5G to Hit the Mainstream by 2022

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Why data is at the center of leadership shakeups in retail

Should merchandising and marketing fall under the same umbrella in the new retail paradigm? Contributor Rohit Gupta says yes, explaining how increasing access to data is transforming how retailers can respond to consumers.

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Google Search Analytics report now breaks down job listings & details results

New filters have been added to the search appearance tab in the Google Search Analytics report for job listings. The post Google Search Analytics report now breaks down job listings & details results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an SEO Company

A good number of businesses have fallen victim to the tricks of cunning service providers when it comes to search engine optimization. This can cause you to think twice about working with these companies. However, once you know what you need to avoid and what you should do, finding the right company will be much easier. The purpose of this post is to educate you on the different mistakes you need to avoid when hiring a SEO company.

Not asking for references

More often than not, people do not take the time to consider the opinions of a company’s recent clients. They simply judge the book by its cover. One thing you need to understand is that just because a company looks great does not mean its services will also be great. Regardless of how great their promises and services are, you have to think twice before hiring. One way of doing this is by asking for a list of their current and past clients.

A reputable SEO company will be willing to share a brief list of their current and past clients with you. These references will help you gauge the effectiveness of the service provider as well as verify what they claim to do for you. Although the references will not give you specific analytics, they will surely help you determine if the candidate is the right one to work with or not. You have to contact at least three of the references given to you. Get to know what they think about the service provider and whether they would be willing to do business with the service provider again. The best thing about talking with references is that they will give you the much-needed peace of mind knowing your business needs will be in the right hands.

Failing to understand how the company works

Another mistake you must never make is that of assuming what the company will do for you. Prior to bringing the company on board, you need to spend some time with the service provider trying to understand what the service will entail. How will they improve your search engine rankings? This is the most important question you need to ask at this point.

The companies you need to avoid are those that are unwilling to discuss their methods in detail. If they keep deflecting or avoiding your questions, there is a good chance they will mess things up. A good company should be willing to explain the strategies it will use to drive up your search engine rankings and also give a realistic estimate of how long it will take to achieve those SEO goals.

This simply means that the candidate should give you a detailed proposal. The proposal should include the initial technical review of your website to remove any problems that may be affecting your ranking in a bad way. The proposal should also include an on-page optimization strategy that shows how they will make your website SEO-friendly. If the service provider only gives you scanty details on what he will do for you, you should definitely walk away before you end up in a trap.

Falling for companies that provide guarantees

The question you need to ask your SEO company is this; can you guarantee the website will achieve No. 1 ranking on major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing? If the answer he gives you is yes, then you should be warned. The truth is no service provider can give guarantees when it comes to search engine optimization. Only cunning service providers will give you guarantees. This is done to make you trust them before they change their story later on.

You must consider guarantees a red flag. This is because there are so many things that are considered before ranking is determined. What’s more is that these factors keep on changing. It is impossible to make guarantees. The best the service provider can do is to show you how they will help improve your ranking. They should also give proof of success by showing you websites whose ranking they helped improve.

Hiring companies that don’t do local search engine optimization

Appearing in the local search engine results is the most important thing for your business. This is because your customers are local. You need to ensure that they are able to find you with ease. Therefore, the SEO company you hire should have experience improving local search results. This is the only way you will be able to attract nearby customers. Only hire an expert who has expertise in local search engine optimization techniques.

The best thing about optimizing your website for local SEO is that it will appear when customers nearby search for keywords which are relevant to your business. For this to happen, your consultant needs to add your business’ city and state to the website’s title tags as well as Meta descriptions. He should also get your website listed on Google, Bing and Yahoo’s local listings. These are online directories of businesses that cater to the specific geographical areas.

Not considering result tracking

If your service provider will not measure the success of your search engine optimization campaigns, you should probably walk away. To gauge the success of your efforts, you need to track how much traffic visiting your site and where it is really coming from. This means the SEO consultant needs to be experienced in Google analytics to track improvements in your website’s search engine rankings. If he cannot track results, then he is most definitely not the best person to have on your team.

A lot goes into hiring an SEO company. The above points will help you get started on the right foot. Other things you must consider are the communication that the company has with its clients and the service fees. It is also important to know what happens once the work is done. Will the service provider come back to help with any SEO needs you may have later on?


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Katherine Norris is a freelance content writer. She has great knowledge in the field of SEO. In her free time, she loves to share her knowledge with her friends and colleagues. For more information about Katherine Norris, please visit the site.

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Most marketers unhappy with localization efforts, but fail to invest in necessary resources

The CMO council found 75% of marketers invest less than 10% of budgets in localization needs, even though 63% are unsatisfied with efforts.

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How to bring your potential customers back with retargeting

The vast majority of visitors to your website probably aren’t ready to buy yet. But columnist Jacob Baadsgaard argues that with the right retargeting approach, you can help them get ready to buy — and ensure that you’ll be the company they choose once they’re ready. The post How to bring your…

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7 Homepage Characteristics That Can Affect Success

Infographic Courtesy of: CreativeMarket

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LinkedIn report: Sales tech ‘is changing the game for sellers’ (and buyers)

Buyers are now pre-qualifying sellers, as sales tech — including LinkedIn and other social networks — revises how the B2B game is played.

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How long does reputation management take?

Columnist Chris Silver Smith discusses the factors that affect the time it takes to clean up online content that damages your name or reputation. The post How long does reputation management take? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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385% Growth Forecast for the Global App Economy

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