As promised, we pick up this month reviewing more social media channels where marketing professionals can share their content and build their brand. If you missed the first installment of this article, let me remind you once again: I am sadly not a semi-professional race car driver but I am a semi-professional social media expert.
And with that knowledge comes one undeniable fact: the social media landscape is changing. Every day, every week, every month, and year. This rapid evolution requires a keen sense of awareness and a hunger to learn.
Social media is one of those areas in business which is as close to a continuing education program as you can get. With the social giants changing their bells and whistles on what seems like a weekly basis, you have to stay tuned in. Like anything else, to perfect your craft, you must study, practice, and observe what the best do (much like our young hero, Ricky Bobby, did when he was down and out and observing new racing superstar Jean......what the heck am I talking about, let's get to the learning).
This month, we pick up with YouTube.
Ah, the second largest search engine in the world. Now, this should go without saying but YouTube is a place to share your video content. Video, compared to the written word and audio, has a stronger information retention rate for consumers. Therefore, it should be part of your content mix, no question about it.
Videos allow the consumer to gain a deeper understanding of the content provider's story. As I discussed in my last column, storytelling is key to moving your content agenda forward and to moving your consumers further into the purchase funnel.
Video is by no means a channel to use on its own, but utilized in concurrence with other channels, it can be a very powerful tool.
Tricks of the trade:
- Don't be afraid to make your videos longform. Go deep. If the video hits on subject matter that is crucial for the watcher, they will watch all the way through.
- Include bullets and/or links on screen - don't just tell your audience, show them (this is why "how to" screencasts are so popular; people use video to learn and go deeper)
- Link people to your other videos AND keep adding subscribers by having "InVideo Programming" turned on. To do that, follow these steps:
- Go to your YouTube features (sign in and then go to youtube.com/features)
- Go to InVideo Programming
- Turn the "Branding watermark" on for all or some of your videos (upload a picture similar to your Facebook, YouTube or Twitter profile photo
- Turn on "Featured Video" and link either your highest impact video or your most recent upload
Google+ is an extremely powerful platform for two reasons. First, Google ranks G+ content and stories higher on a Google search because of Google authorship, a tactic the search engine invented to give more credibility to search results (because you could perhaps see people/content creators you know and trust). This is genius as it encourages folks to spread their content on G+ to see it rank higher in results.
The second is Hangouts. Hangouts, I believe, have revolutionized the video sharing and conferencing industry. It has taken sharing written, social, and spoken content to a whole new level. Take for instance EContent Live, EContent Magazine's monthly video show hosted by my good friend, Jose Castillo. The show brings on relevant guests to talk about relevant content-related topics, and the bottom line is that it's solid content.
I have written about Google+ and my bullish outlook on the platform on my blog DrewBedard.com. I, like many, see a bright future for the platform.
Tricks of the trade:
- Use beautiful photos in your posts. Google+ has a beautiful interface. Share great photos to take advantage of it.
- G+ Communities - Start one for your brand. Google+ is a hub of passionate brand advocates and that will only continue to grow. Gain access to their thoughts and questions today and it will only help you improve.
- Hashtags are good but a "+" is better. Tag relevant brands and people in your posts by posting "+" and then their name or brand name. Spread the love and love will come back to you.
Alas folks, I have, yet again, run out of column inches this month and will have to continue this discussion in what is sure to be EContent Magazine's most hotly anticipated column of 2014: Part 3 of "Social Media Advice from a Semi-Professional Race Car Driver."
Until next time, "Keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars." Hit me up on Twitter to tell me whose famous words those were.