How do businesses leverage and benefit with Social Video?

Why your business needs more video on the web. Half the people read, half the people watch.Old adage, well, not really that old… “Half the people read, half the people, watch TV (video) ~unkown.

“Social Video” as defined by Cameron Uganec from Hootsuite is: “digital video that is designed to be seen and shared through social networks.” And he offers these three pointers to expand on that definition:

  1. “Social videos need to be optimized for different channels.” This is because a video that may work on YouTube may need to be drastically reduced in length to be successful on Facebook or Instagram. And what works on those platforms might not work on others like Twitter or Snapchat. For Facebook you need to upload videos natively, instead of linking out, so you have a much higher chance of your video being seen by your community and/or fans.
  2. “If it’s prerecorded, social videos need to be shareable.” You can’t only think of the channel, you also need to think about shareability. How does your content connect with your audience, what traditional conventions for how it’s produced have you used, does your social video compel your audience to want to share the video with their friends or colleagues?
  3. “Live social videos need to be about authenticity and real-time engagement.” In today’s age of brand relationships you have to have a real connection with your audience, you have to really care about and address what need it is that they are trying to solve. No longer do consumers what the hard sell about your product or service, they know what they are looking for and want to know that you are a business that they can trust to solve that need in a honest way.

Source: A Guide to Social Video, and Where it Fits in Your Marketing Plan

Here are 5 ways that you can leverage social video so that YOUR BUSINESS can make money.

  1. Because social networks like Facebook are now favoring video in their algorithms, you have a unique ability to connect with viewers. Sakal News restructured their content strategy to reach a wider audience by sharing interesting, relevant, and authentic content. They increased their video post frequency from 3 to 60 videos per week, and reaped the rewards with their views jumping from 333K in march to 10.5M video views in June. This equated to a 4x growth in reach since February. Be careful though, “while the Facebook algorithm is a definite positive for video, it will punish businesses and video creators who produce bad, lazy, or unoptimized video…… Don’t think of this as a punishment as much as an incentive to only share high quality content- something you should be striving to do anyways”.
  2. Social videos can deliver impressive ROI, with “72 percent of businesses who use video saying that it has increased website conversion rates”. The important aspect here is that you have to SET GOALS and TRACK the success of your videos using analytics. It is only through tracking that you will definitively learn how your audience behaves, and this in turn allows you to refine and redefine your social video strategy.
  3. Use social video to lift the behind the scenes veil of your business or company. In doing so you humanize your business, and it can also be a very effective way to attract not only new business but new talent as well!
  4. Leverage the interactivity of social videos for lead generation. Make sure you include an effective call-to-action to clearly tell viewers what you want them to do next. For Facebook you can create promotions that have a CTA (call-to-action) button below the video. YouTube allows you several different options for linking out from videos including overlays on the video itself, non-intrusive and timed callout bubbles, and including links in the description.
  5. “How-to videos” are amongst the most popular search queries on YouTube. Don’t assume that your customers intuitively know how to use your product. If they can see a video that demonstrates how-to use it in general or a feature, then you are providing value to your customers, solving their need and showing that you care enough to help. How-To video’s can also be used for brand awareness by offering help in a related topic.

Why do you have to optimize your video for different channels?

This is an embedded  YouTube video The Next Wave made – you can toggle captions on/off and can see that it is easily sharable:

However, if we just stick it in Facebook- it won’t have captions, it won’t autoplay in the scroll, and although you can share FB videos outside of Facebook- they don’t always allow people without Facebook accounts to see them. Facebook does this on purpose- to make sure you stay on their site.

4 Quick Tips:

  • Make sure that your video has captions so that people can watch at work, without getting caught.
  • If you place your brand and message in the first 5-10 seconds of your video, people are 3X more likely to engage with it.
  • Make sure that you know which platform your target audience is active on. Do this by initiating small tests on all the platforms and using tracking see which one/s drive the best results.
  • Make a point to mention the call to action you want your viewers to take inside your actual video. (“Subscribe to my channel”, “click the link below to find out more”, “Send me your email”, etc.)

Since half the people read and half watch, are you creating half your content as video? Remember, Youtube is the second most popular search engine after Google.

Talk to us at The Next Wave for a systematic, customized and successful strategy for your social video needs. Do you know we also offer printing at fantastic rates? Talk to us today!

Interested in learning more about the internet and how to use WordPress to successfully promote your business on the web? Check out our live Websitetology 1 day class, where we help you become a master of the internet!

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Automattic is changing everything WordPress, or not.

If you use WordPress to manage your content online, you’re smart and far from alone. Stats say that somewhere around 28% of the web we use is running on WordPress right now. The thing is, many of you have no idea you are looking at it when a master developer builds a site.

The secret sauce of WordPress is that the content, the stuff that brings visitors to your site, is in a database and separate from the presentation- the theme, the way it all displays. This is what makes things super easy to manage and maintain, and to format the output for any size screen and device. The part that makes Google search such a big fan is that the content is organized nicely using the four main tools: Posts, Pages, Categories and Tags. If you’ve taken our Websitetology seminar, you fully understand why most of your site should be using posts- in really well organized and thought out categories. If you haven’t taken our seminar- you should sign up.

However, there are a few big changes coming on the horizon to the World of WordPress- both from the top, the people who built and maintain this open source tour de force- Automattic (named for Matt Mullenweg, the guy who proved you can get rich giving something away that you don’t own).

First up is the subscription service JetPack, which builds upon a suite of plugin tools that were and still are free- but always required a wordpress.com account to tie you back to the “mothership.” In that form- JetPack did some cool stuff-

Keep any WordPress site secure, increase traffic, and engage your readers.

Traffic and SEO Tools

Traffic is the lifeblood of any website. Jetpack includes:

  • [free] Site stats and analytics
  • [free] Automatic sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and WhatsApp
  • [free] Related posts
  • [paid] Search engine optimization tools for Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com
  • [paid] Advertising program that includes the best of AdSense, Facebook Ads, AOL, Amazon, Google AdX, and Yahoo

Security and Backup Services

Stop worrying about data loss, downtime, and hacking. Jetpack provides:

  • [free] Brute force attack protection
  • [free] Downtime and uptime monitoring
  • [free] Secured logins and two-factor authentication
  • [paid] Malware scanning, code scanning, and threat resolution
  • [paid] Site backups, restores, and migrations

Content Creation

Add rich, beautifully-presented media — no graphic design expertise necessary:

  • [free] A high-speed CDN for your images
  • [free] Carousels, slideshows, and tiled galleries
  • [free] Simple embeds from YouTube, Google Documents, Spotify and more
  • [free] Sidebar customization including Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds
  • [free] Extra sidebar widgets including blog stats, calendar, and author widgets
  • [paid] High-speed, ad-free, and high-definition video hosting

Discussion and Community

Create a connection with your readers and keep them coming back to your site with:

  • [free] Email subscriptions
  • [free] Comment login with Facebook, Twitter, and Google
  • [free] Fully-customizable contact forms
  • [free] Infinite scroll for your posts

So, you say- there are only a few pieces that are paid- I’ll jump in. However, that’s the beginning down the slippery slope to letting someone else control how your site works and see everything you do. We’ve avoided it for years- instead using tools from third parties.

The newest release of Jetpack gets its own site- Jetpack.com and looking at the business side (since we do WordPress for business as our bread and butter) you start seeing that it’s almost as if you are buying hosting from Automattic too- which isn’t a bad thing, until things go wrong in a big way, and the support just can’t deal with their scale. Automattic has been doing their VIP hosting for a long time, so they probably are pretty solid at this now, but, we’re still a little wary, and frankly, the price is pretty steep. You don’t need access to hundreds of premium themes- you just need one good one.

No matter what, the push into hosting smaller business sites and offering their own sets of tools, could be seen as direct competition with the entire ecosystem that has been built around WordPress. One of the key reasons WordPress has been so successful is the thousands of businesses that have been built on the platform- from theme and plugin developers to hosting firms and web developers.

And, as if that isn’t enough… here comes “Guttenberg

What? Moveable type presses? Nope, a new way of editing text outside the standard text block editor that is the default. In other words, a builder- much like many of the builders that come with premium themes. There are plenty out there- we’ve gravitated to using Divi from Elegant Themes– which is both plugin and visual site builder/theme- but there are plenty of others.

What does the coming of Guttenberg mean for some of us? We’re not entirely sure. The Customizer was the first Automattic attempt to provide an interim WYSWIG interface to WordPress- and it didn’t change anything. What we are seeing is Automattic reacting to competition like SquareSpace/WIX/Weebly – all  of which are WordPress with training wheels for those who can’t be bothered with doing a website right.

Guttenberg is still in beta and not ready for prime time. We’re waiting to see if it is in WP 4.9 or part of the major 5.0 release. In the meantime, you should be aware of the impending changes.

 

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WordPress 4.8- the Widget edition

Major WordPress version updates come a few times a year, and we now have version 4.8, named after Jazz Pianist Bill Evans. We call it the Widget edition.

For those of you who don’t know what widgets are, they started as the way to put stuff on the sidebar- the thing on the side of your blog, that’s there all the time…

wait? Does that sound a little foreign to you? It should. Because with the Theme Universe exploding, and responsive design (that resizes to any device size) widgets have become the way to put things anywhere on your site- from the front page to the sidebar, to the footer etc.

Other than stock widgets, many widgets are installed by Plugins, and some by themes and theme builders.

What used to require a bit of a hack, is now easy with these new widgets:

Image Widget

Adding an image to a widget is now a simple task that is achievable for any WordPress user without needing to know code. Simply insert your image right within the widget settings. Try adding something like a headshot or a photo of your latest weekend adventure — and see it appear automatically.

Video Widget

A welcome video is a great way to humanize the branding of your website. You can now add any video from the Media Library to a sidebar on your site with the new Video widget. Use this to showcase a welcome video to introduce visitors to your site or promote your latest and greatest content.

Audio Widget

Are you a podcaster, musician, or avid blogger? Adding a widget with your audio file has never been easier. Upload your audio file to the Media Library, go to the widget settings, select your file, and you’re ready for listeners. This would be a easy way to add a more personal welcome message, too!

Rich Text Widget

This feature deserves a parade down the center of town! Rich-text editing capabilities are now native for Text widgets. Add a widget anywhere and format away. Create lists, add emphasis, and quickly and easily insert links. Have fun with your newfound formatting powers, and watch what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.

Source: WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

And of course, with the customizer as the WordPress answer to SquareSpace, Wix and whatever other WYSIWG proprietary website solution- you can now do a drag and drop element in your site.

Just remember to always use a child theme to make your customizations. There are plugins that can help you set that up (right now, Child Theme Configurator  seems to be the most popular)

Some of our favorite Widgets are:

Ad inserter:

Ad management plugin with many advertising features to automatically insert adverts. Perfect for all kinds of ads including AdSense and Amazon. Great also for contextual Native Shopping Ads and rotating banners. Ad Inserter provides many options to insert any Javascript, HTML, PHP or advert code anywhere on the page.

Source: Ad Inserter — WordPress Plugins

Popular posts:

WordPress Popular Posts is a highly customizable widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog.

Source: WordPress Popular Posts — WordPress Plugins

And the SiteOrigin widget installer – which bundles a bunch of useful tools:

SiteOrigin Widgets bundle:

  • Google Maps Widget that’s going places.
  • Button Widget that you’ll love to click.
  • Image Widget that’ll let you add images everywhere.
  • Call To Action Widget that’ll get your users performing the actions you want.
  • Slider Widget that slides images and HTML5 videos.
  • Price Table Widget that’ll help you sell more.
  • Post Carousel Widget that displays your posts as a carousel.
  • Features Widget that lets you display a set of site or service features.
  • Video Widget to get your videos out there.
  • Headline Widget to get you noticed.
  • Social Links Widget to show you’re active.

Source: SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle — WordPress Plugins

The beauty of WordPress is that there is a complete selection of vetted tools on WordPress.org to extend and expand the capabilities of your site. Come to our next Websitetogy Seminar and learn about widgets, plugins, best posting practices and a whole bunch more.

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