This article was originally posted on Rso-Consulting.com and can be found here.
Likes, shares, comments, and now hearts. Engagement is an important social media metric, but is it all you should be watching?
Social media engagement reminds me of the Skinner Box. Except instead of pushing the lever myself and getting the reward, I’m relying on users’ affirmations to give me that weird, endorphin-like high. Engagement means my content resonated, it entertained, and it effectively solicited the kind of reaction I wanted.
But while engagement is certainly a valuable social media metric – and one of the most commonly measured – it isn’t the only one. And in some cases, it isn’t the most important one either.
Engagement vs. Other Social Media Metrics
Let’s say your company is brand-new or just about to launch. You have very different needs on social media than a business with huge market presence. You must make yourself known (brand awareness), whereas the other business may be more focused on increasing sales.
Because you have different goals, your organization must measure your performance differently, too.
Your goal needs to correspond to a specific social media metric that tells you how well you’re doing – or not doing.
For a campaign focused on brand awareness, engagement is certainly an important metric. The goal is to get in front of as many social media users as possible, and to increase likes, shares, etc. in order to gain even more exposure. The more users who engage with your brand, the better for building your brand.
But for the company that is building a sales campaign, measuring conversions is a better fit. The business needs to see which social content is getting users to click and then buy the product or service. The goal is to sell more, so the business must be able to see whether or not their social media is aiding this initiative.
Some campaigns may even combine metrics. But that’s a whole other post. For now, just know that while engagement is a very good social metric, it may not be the most effective one to help you reach the goals that are important right now.
In Google AdWords, there are a set of metrics specifically for earned actions on YouTube: views, subscribers, playlist additions, likes, and shares. “Earned actions happen when a viewer watches a TrueView video ad and then takes a related action on YouTube.” In other words, you pay for that first click on your ad, but not additional actions which are “earned” as a result of people engaging with your video initially from an ad.
Here are brief definitions of the different earned actions available in AdWords:
Earned view: A viewer watched another video on your channel within a week.
Earned subscribers: A viewer subscribed to your channel within a week.
Earned shares: A viewer shares a video from your channel within a week.
Earned likes: A viewer “likes” a video after watching your paid placement.
This alone gives you a wealth of data about how interested people are in what you offer, but don’t forget about Google Analytics. As long as your Google products are connected, you will see Video Campaigns under Acquisition > AdWords in Google Analytics.
Almost one-third of people on the internet use YouTube and YouTube is considered the second largest search engine by many. With all that attention on video, advertisers should consider YouTube as a cost effective option in their advertising strategy.
With In-Stream TrueView ads, viewers can skip an ad after-five seconds. Advertisers pay only when the viewer does not choose to skip the ad and watches it for 30-seconds until the end. As a result, the traffic is better quality because you don’t waste money on people who are not interested in your offer.
Brand awareness is a fuzzy metric. But when it comes to video, brand awareness is a decent goal. Although you probably will not see an immediate ROI, it can have an impact in someone’s decision to purchase over time after repeated exposure.
Tips for a great video ad
Keep it short. Attention spans are short all over the internet. People want to consume information quickly, hopefully share it, then move on to whatever is next. You do not have a lot of time to keep their attention.
There’s a lot of noise online. Just as your business needs to have a differentiator, so do your videos. If there’s nothing about them that stands out, people have no incentive to share them. Make sure you provide something useful or interesting in the ad that demonstrates how you are different.
Keep it simple
If you’re keeping it short (under two minutes), you may be tempted to include as many great things about you as possible in that brief moment you have the viewer’s attention. But in this world of information overload, be careful to not overwhelm the viewer. What is the one thing you want them to do as a result of watching your clip?
Use a card
A YouTube card can be viewed by clicking small “i” visible on the video ad. The card can include information about what was displayed in the ad so the viewer can make a purchase with customized text and images. The goal is to keep the viewers’ attention by inviting them to click on the cards to learn more. Unlike annotations, these work on mobile devices so one card will work across all device types.
Exclude repeat viewers
Yes, there is a case for people to see a brand multiple times before they remember it. But if the goal of your video ad is to attract new people, then you may want to use remarketing to exclude people who have already seen a video, or even those who have been to your channel. This technique is definitely worth considering for brands with a limited advertising budget.
Don’t forget SEO
Your videos have options to include titles and descriptions. Don’t overlook this space and make sure you use it for a relevant description and keywords. With SEO, the rule of sounding natural still applies so don’t go overboard with keyword stuffing.
Check your results
YouTube Analytics provides data specific to your videos beyond just the number of people who watched it, although views of course are important.
With it, you’ll learn more about your audience, such as age, gender, and where they are located. You’ll also learn how they found you which helps you measure other marketing efforts. You may also find some pleasant surprises with referrals to your channel you were not aware of.
It’s also great to see who subscribed to your YouTube channel. Beyond looking at the number of subscribers on it’s own, determine when they chose to subscribe. It provides insight about the type of video that results in engagement.
If you run ads on the Display Network, check where these ads are being displayed by viewing Targeting, then Placements. If some sites are not performing well for you, they can be excluded in the future.
Similar to how you use Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics provides data to improve your marketing on YouTube so you need to review your results with the goal to optimize. For example, if you want to send viewers to your website, you may need to adjust your call-to-action (CTA) so a visit to your website is obvious as the desired outcome. If some of the placements never result in a click to your site, then you may want to exclude those from the campaigns.
Not everyone will become a YouTube star or have that one video that seems to magically go viral. But if you remember these tips and can create a message that works well with video, the low costs make this an advertising medium that is worth exploring.
How does WestJet manage to produce videos that receive up to fifty millions views? By using a combination of humor, philanthropy and finding that one-to-one connection. WestJet knows their customers, knows how to reach them, touch them, and make a personal connection.
They do it every year when they bring us all to tears with their Christmas miracle videos, and they definitely didn’t let us down this year.
Think your tear ducts can handle more? Check out previous years’ videos:
YouTube matters for engagement and hopefully encourages your audience to share your content, which is why videos should be added to your marketing mix. Since YouTube users do search YouTube to find products, it is a viable channel for getting in front of buyers. There are a number of options for users and networks to choose from on YouTube, and a good place to start is using the TrueView advertising model. With this model, advertisers only pay when viewers choose to watch the ad.
With a TrueView in-stream ad, it can display before or during another video. Although users can skip it after five seconds, those five seconds still give you time to do some branding. The beginning of your in-stream ad is the place to show a logo and build some brand awareness immediately since they may not choose to view the full ad. This ad is free for these five seconds if users do not choose to watch the whole thing, so it should include a very simple call-to-action and company logo at the very beginning.
With a TrueView in-display ad, advertisers pay only when the user clicks on the ad. The ads appear next to other videos, either in YouTube Search or on the Display Network. Here advertisers can target an audience and search terms for their videos.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine so it is no surprise that it’s a top resource for people seeking information or entertainment. With more than 1 billion unique users each month, it makes sense for businesses to spend some time there as well.
Businesses who ignore video and do not include it in their overall marketing strategy are missing out on a potentially large audience. Even smaller businesses with a tiny budget can use this medium. Costs to create video are low and technical expertise is not necessarily required to create a successful video. If you are ready to begin marketing with videos, work through the below questions as you decide what it is you want to share.
Who is your audience?
It really isn’t “everyone”. Is what you are creating something your target market would even want to watch? You can determine what interests your audience by reviewing data from your other channels.
Are product demos popular on your website? If so, make sure you spend time showing prospects how to use your product in videos you create. Is the “tips and tricks” section of your email newsletter the most popular thing with readers? It could be that your audience really appreciates suggestions on productivity and would be drawn to videos that help them do everyday tasks a bit better.
YouTube is one of the top growing methods of marketing any type of brand or business online. More people are realizing how important having a YouTube presence is to their target market. YouTube videos are now more likely to come up in Google searches if the right keywords are triggered in a specific order. Below are some key stats to consider:
More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
Some of these tips represent simple ways you can increase your effectiveness on the platform for better results!
Share specific “how to” information – This is the most searched on YouTube. People like to learn how to do things so take advantage of this!
Business > Info > Entertain – Vary your content using this method. Give info and entertainment while selling your product.
Give a video tour of your facility – People like information about who is behind your brand. Let them know you are involved in the community.
Build Subscribers by Asking – Remember if you don’t ask you may not get. Successful people on YouTube are sure to ask viewers to subscribe.
Engage Commenters – Engaging people will really create a community feel around your page.
Increase your search engine results – Don’t forget the same tactics used in search engines can apply to YouTube.
Tag videos with keywords and phrases – Make sure to use targeted keywords in the title of your video. Also make sure to use up as much space as you can with these words.
Use your targeted keywords in the video description. Make sure to fill out this space with all the info about your video along with information on how to reach your brand in the future.
Build traffic to your site – Add links to your Social Media profiles and websites into your description area of your video. This will help people find you no matter how many views your video gets. Let them know how they can see similar videos of interest from you.
Choose categories with keywords – Let YouTube know what type of search terms your video should rank for by making sure to add a category to your video. If you cannot find a specific category be sure to choose the closest match.
Create a custom banner – Make a custom banner that grabs the attention of your YouTube visitors. Many people that have had success add call to actions on their banner such as “subscribe” or “download our free eBook.”
Featured Trailer – Installing this will automatically help you get more views to your page because every time someone visits your page it will count as a view. Also, this gives you a chance let everyone know what your page is about.
Don’t read from a script – It is recommended to not use scripts when you create your video. A good practice is to rehearse without recording for a few times. This will help you become more natural when you eventually end up recording.
Keep it short- Most people do not have time to watch a 16-minunte video of someone talking. Make your video is 2-7 min to insure you get your message across to your viewers.
Use royalty free music – If you use copyrighted music you may run the risk of having your video or channel penalized for not following guidelines. YouTube has a selection of more than 100,000 royalty-free music tracks to choose from. This selection has music from all genres, so you will definitely find what you need!
Be Patient – No need to buy viewers like some do. This practice is not legitimate and can possible lead to restrictions on your account. Building up a fan base takes time and effort.
Be Consistent – Whether you choose to post video once a week or once a month be sure to remain consistent. Once you gain a considerable amount of followers, you will have people waiting for your posts. This will continue to bring return viewers to your page.
Use these quick tips to get started on YouTube. Remember the most important part is to take action towards the first steps and the rest will fall into place. Make sure you are giving your target audience what they want to see. Satisfied viewers will be sure to share the video!
*The original article can be found in ASPE’s ROI November/December Newsletter. Interested in more articles like this one? View the most current newsletter here.*
There are companies that have used video marketing in the past, as well as those who have stayed away from video for one reason or another.
At this point, it doesn’t appear that anything is going to slow down the growth of the video marketing trend. More and more companies are getting involved, spanning a variety of industries.
To better understand why video marketing will remain just as popular in 2015 and beyond, we don’t have to look any further than what has happened in the past. Here are some key statistics that will surely open your eyes:
According to comScore, in December 2013 188.2 million people in the United States watched more than 52 billion online videos. Adding to this, the average American spent roughly 19 hours watching videos via the internet.
According to eMarketer, more than 72 million smartphone users in the United States watched video on their device at least once a month in 2013. Even more interesting is the fact that this number is expected to reach nearly 87 million by the end of 2014.
MediaPost noted the following: “On average 12% of visitors to an ecommerce web page view a video when one is available. Many of those visitors often spend more money.”
Now that you have some statistics to chew on, it is time to learn more about the many benefits of video marketing. After all, there have to be reasons why so many companies are uploading video content. Here is what they are getting in return:
1. The ability to connect with people on a “mobile level.” Did you know that online video accounts for a large portion of mobile traffic?
If you are concerned about reaching people on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, focus more attention on video production.
2. Unique way of communicating with an audience. Every high performing website is full of targeted, useful content. However, your words can only take you so far.
When you get involved with video marketing, you have a whole new way of communicating with your audience. Some people are visual learners. For this reason, you need to show them what you are talking about, as opposed to explaining it to them in words. Using video is the easiest way of doing so.
3. Videos can go viral. Don’t expect every video you upload to your website or a sharing service, such as YouTube, to go viral. Do expect this to happen from time to time, especially if you are putting the appropriate amount of time and effort into creating videos.
One viral video is all it takes for you to see just how powerful this marketing tool can be. The traffic will be amazing. The response from your audience will be astonishing. And hopefully you are able to convert this newfound popularity into money.
4. Social media sharing. Do you have a strong social media presence? Are you trying to build your profiles on Twitter and Facebook in particular? If you are not using video, you are missing the boat.
Here are a few stats from War Room Inc. that back up this idea:
“More than 500 years worth of YouTube videos are watched daily on Facebook.”
“More than 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute.”
There is nothing wrong with sharing text-based updates via social media, but it is important to understand the power of video marketing.
5. The ability to compete head to head with the competition. There is a good chance that many companies in your industry already have a strong video marketing strategy in place. You may be playing from behind, but it is better to get started now than not at all.
Tip: do some research into the marketing strategy employed by your top five competitors. Are they uploading video to their website? Are they sharing via social media? Are they taking advantage of the many video sharing sites that exist? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, take some notes and then do the same.
From small companies to big brands, many are relying on video marketing to reach their goals. Here is another interesting tidbit from War Room Inc.:
“Amazon, Del, and other online retailers have publicly shared statistics showing that a posted video can increase the odds of a customer purchasing at item by as much as 35 percent.”
If your company sells physical goods, this is a critical nugget. By implementing video into your marketing campaign you may be able to quickly boost sales.
Common Video Marketing Roadblocks
Despite the many benefits, backed up by years of statistics, some companies continue to avoid video marketing. There are many reasons for this, including some of these common roadblocks:
The belief that you need expensive, high tech equipment to shoot high quality video
Fear of getting behind (or in front of) the camera
Uncertainty as to what should be discussed on camera and what is best left for another type of content, such as a blog post
Time necessary to devote to production, editing and distribution
These roadblocks can be scary and intimidating, but that doesn’t mean you should stay away as a result. Instead, you need to make a list of what is holding you back and then devise a plan for overcoming the challenge.
If you have yet to get started due to a lack of equipment, for example, consider the following: you can get up and running with an affordable webcam that provides solid quality. It may not be ideal. It may not be as advanced as your competition. But remember this: it is a start.
The popularity of video marketing will continue to explode in 2015 and beyond. If you want to get in on the action, let this piece serve as your guide. You may be closer than you think to shooting your first video.
A/B testing is a critical component of any marketer’s arsenal these days. Marketing as a whole is becoming much more reliant on data-driven decisions that are derived from split testing, which provides insight into what we should and shouldn’t do. Conversion rates are becoming much more important to all levels of management, especially as testing tools get easier to implement and allow us to be extremely agile in our marketing efforts. Here are seven A/B testing lessons that may give you some ideas of what to test to help increase your conversion rate.
1.Good title vs. a title that will always get clicked
In marketing it is important to evaluate how you showcase your product in front of potential buyers. In fact, there is a common saying: “Sell benefits, not features.” While writing the title of your landing page, ask yourself if it really sells the benefit.
Recently, Neil Patel launched an all-in-one SEO analyzer on his personal blog, QuickSprout.com. Though the tool created a buzz around Digital Marketing circles, Neil A/B-tested the title of the landing page of that tool.
Title A: Are You Doing Your SEO Wrong?
Title B: Do You Want More Traffic?
Both the titles were good, but the second one is catchier. Neil Patel hasn’t revealed how much impact this test had in his conversion rate. Maybe it is too early to reveal
Another great example: Movexa, a natural joint-relief supplement by Vitamin Boat Corp. has done an A/B test on its product page. Earlier, Movexa’s title was too vague. Later, the company improved its title to catch people’s attention.
Title A: Natural Joint Relief
Title B: Natural Joint Relief Supplement.
Test hypothesis & the impact: The ideas behind these tests were to improve the clarity of the titles. As titles are one of the first things seen by the users, improving it will have a big impact on conversion.
Movexa has reported that improving clarity of their title on the product page has increased its sales by 90 percent.
Lesson to learn:
Think like your customer. Make sure you are selling benefits and not features. Split test with different elements and find which works best for you.
1.Description vs. Overview
A recent study about how users read on the web reveals that users read, at most, 28 percent of the copy on the page. This means, instead of reading the full copy, users will typically scan the content.
A couple of months ago, Keep&Shareconducted an A/B test with 4 variations of titles and descriptions.
Variation 1: Longer title with brief overview
Variation 2: Longer title with longer overview
Variation 3: Longer title with brief but different overview from above 2
Variation 4: Shorter title with shorter overview
Test hypothesis & the impact: The objective is to analyze which of the 4 variations work better in terms of conversion. The test will be fast to run and easy to analyze as the title and descriptions have changed.
The winner? Variation 4 with a conversion rate of 103 percent.
Lesson to learn: It doesn’t matter how good you describe the product, unless the users are really interested in reading it, results won’t vary. Try to give a brief overview of what you provide. Make sure the copy is easily digestible. Remember, less is better almost always.
2.Making your call to action prominent
Fiverr.com is the world’s largest marketplace for small services. Unlike other websites, in a service-based marketplace, users are more likely to learn how the website works before creating an account.
Having said that, the above fold of the previous Fiverr homepage design was more intended to teach people how the site works.
At first, on the homepage I clicked on the “how does it work” button. That was a better explanation. I was amazed. On the home page, if you click on the how it works button, you get a much better explanation of the product.
As you browse through different categories, you can see interesting gigs and read purchase reviews. There is no need yet to create an account. Therein lies the problem. The call to action on the homepage was not prominent on the previous design.
The nice news is that, unlike the older page, the call to action on the current design is prominent.
Similar to Fiverr, the old design of Consolidated Label didn’t have any call to action on their page. So they A/B tested by placing a prominent call to action on their test page.
Test hypothesis & the impact: As call to action is prominent on the new design, obviously the expectation from the test is increased conversion.
Fiverr hasn’t revealed conversion rate of its new design yet. Consolidated Label confirmed a huge increase in conversions by 62 percent.
Lesson to learn: You may want to let your users know more about your product or services. However, make sure your call to action is prominent on homepages.
1.Checkout process – Single step vs. multiple steps
Recently, HostGator.com reduced the checkout process from 2 steps to 1 single step. Earlier, users were required to choose the domain name and discount coupon on the first step and enter the billing information on the second step. Currently, all the steps are merged together.
Test hypothesis & the impact: The idea here is to simplify the checkout process as much as possible to reduce the possibility of hitting the back button or going elsewhere.
A study conducted by Getelastic.com has revealed that a single page checkout process has increased the conversion rate by 21.8 percent.
In fact, reducing the number of steps does not always increase the conversion rate.
CrazyEgg.com had a 10 percent hike in its conversion rate when it changed the checkout process from 2 steps to 3 steps.
Lesson to learn: Research shows that single-page checkout outperforms the multi page checkout in terms of conversion rate. However, it depends on the type of the product and the target market. Make sure you split test and learn what works for you. For a multi-page checkout, it is better to provide a visual indicator, which shows the user’s checkout progress.
2.Explanation – Slide vs. videos
If a picture speaks a thousand words, how many words does a video speak? After all, we are lazy. As mentioned earlier, users read at most 28 percent of web copy on a given page. So why not to create an explainer video instead of putting all your efforts on writing and improving the copy?
A nice explainer video not only showcases what your product is all about, but it makes your product stand out from your competitors.
Test & the impact:
According to a Statistic Brain study, the average attention span of a visitor on a web page is 8 seconds. However, it would be harder to explain the purpose of a product in 8 seconds, especially if the idea behind a product is somewhat complicated.
This is why an explainer video is vitally important. Research shows that, on average, explainer videos are watched for more than 2 minutes. Hopefully using an explainer video will be helpful with increasing conversion rate.
Crazyegg.com has reported an increase in conversion rate by 64 percent.
Work.com and Dropbox.com have also found increases in conversion rates by 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Lesson to learn: No matter if you use slides or explainer videos, make sure the end users understand what your product is all about.
Explainer videos are great, however there are some exceptions where the videos would be less than ideal.
For instance, videos might not be ideal when:
·Visitors have poor Internet connectivity
·Products are simple and it is easy to convey the main message
·Visitors are in a hurry and don’t want to watch the entire video
3.How long the landing page should be?
A common way of attracting a younger generation is to bring the prospects to a smaller squeeze page with fewer or no distractions. However, in some cases, you may want a longer sales page for further convincing the users to signup. Syed Balkhi, the founder of WPBeginner.com uses both the concepts together in a single landing page.
Users can click on a CTA button and they are directed to a contact form that needs to be filled out. Users are also able to click on information that will show them more details of the services provided before signing up.
Test and the impact: Longer pages will be needed if it is harder to convince the prospect to buy a product or if the product is costlier.
Quicksprout.com has observed an increase in conversion rates of 67.2 percent with a shorter squeeze page, where the prospects were just asked to submit their email address.
FitnessWorld.dk has found 11 percent more conversions when they reduced the size of the page where the gym is well known and the offer is simple and inexpensive.
Lesson to learn: You should split test between different kinds of landing pages and use the one that works better for you. If you are not sure, you can combine both the concepts of smaller and longer page into a single landing page so that users can easily choose from it.
1. Split testing- the down side
Split testing can be a nice way to learn what works best for your website, however there may be some drawbacks if you don’t use it effectively.
Duration: Make sure you conduct A/B tests long enough. Shorter duration tests may not hold true for the long run.
Number of conversions: For better results, you shouldn’t stop the test unless you receive a specific number of conversions for each variation. This means if you have a low-traffic website, you’ll have to keep the test until statistical significance is achieved.
SEO: Rumors are spreading that split testing can hurt SEO. One of the major problems for the long term A/B tests is the duplicate content issue. Make sure your test URLs are not indexed on Google.
Lesson to learn: Despite having some drawbacks, A/B tests are vital for conversion rate optimization. Tools like Visual Website Optimizer can give you a rough idea of how long you should run the A/B tests by inputting elements such as the number of visitors, number of variations and expected improvements in the conversion rate.
It is common to have negative results when you run A/B testing on your website. Don’t be discouraged from further testing. Remember, options that worked for someone else may not always work for you.
A couple years ago, Google produced a series of videos titled “Google Analytics in Real Life”. These hilarious videos explain the common frustrations of website visitors played out in real life scenarios.
The following video addresses how incredibly frustrating poor internal site search functions can be:
You too can avoid causing this same confusion on your site. In our 3-day Mastering Google Analytics Course you will learn to leverage Google Analytics to better track and optimize your site.