I’m A Huge Fan of YouTube (Part 2 of 2)

Mar. 29

I’m a tremendous fan of YouTube. Recently, in part 1 of this series, I shared my passion for YouTube as a purely incremental digital media channel. Today, I’m excited to share some of my other perspectives on YouTube and why I think it’s so critical to your career in digital marketing.

Old TV

  • When it comes to careers in digital marketing (or really any other career for that matter), public speaking matters. It’s important to present yourself well, and practice, practice, practice. The best practice is actually engaging in public speaking opportunities. I have a huge one coming up in the next few weeks, and I’ll be blogging all about it here on PPC Ian. Last year, my big public speaking accomplishment was Search Insider Summit. What happens, however, when you don’t have opportunities to speak at big conferences every month. (I’m so busy that I can typically only do one or two speaking events each year.) After all, public speaking requires consistent practice. Get out there an build your own YouTube channel! Leverage YouTube as a way to practice your speaking. You’ll quickly find that certain videos take multiple takes to get it right, and you’ll refine your presentation skills.
  • The best digital marketers find ways to refine their craft. Moonlighting (dabbling in your own side projects/experiments) is a great way to learn and explore facets of digital marketing you may not get to engage on a day-to-day basis. Moonlighting allows you to bring added insights back to your job. As long as you stay in a completely different space from your job, get approval from your company, and spend a very small amount of time moonlighting, I see tremendous value coming from this practice. If you’re going to moonlight and dabble in something different, why not create your own YouTube channel? You’ll truly learn how to make money online, engage an audience, create compelling content, and so much more with your YouTube side project.
  • There’s so much involved in building and ranking a website. Take PPC Ian, for example. I absolutely love my blog, but it has taken countless hours to get to where I’m at now. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, however what if you want to learn in your spare time and don’t have a lot of time or money. YouTube is a one-stop-shop for setting up an online business. Because it’s a really good product and because it’s a Google product, you get everything in one package. I’m talking about ease of use, ease of ranking organically (and in related videos), ease of management, ease of monetization, and so much more. With YouTube, Google takes the guesswork out of everything so you can focus on one thing: Creating amazing content. This point really ties into the last one: YouTube is probably the easiest and most scalable way to dabble in a digital marketing project in your spare time. Case in point: I have one YouTube channel that has 200,000 video views, and I only have a total of 14 videos.
  • YouTube is the future. The future of television is interactivity, mobility, and limitless choice. I still truly believe we are in the very early stages of YouTube and online video. Embrace the trend now, and you will be incredibly well positioned for the future. Truly own your vertical. Create the best resource for your vertical. That is an asset that will pay dividends for many years to come. The time to embrace YouTube is now. From a strategy perspective, I encourage all brands to invest in YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, please make sure to check out the PPC Ian YouTube Channel. Do you have a YouTube channel? Please share!

Image of Old TV © iStockPhoto – Palto

I’m A Huge Fan of YouTube (Part 1 of 2)

Mar. 02

I’m a tremendous fan of YouTube. There are many reasons why, and I’m thrilled to explore them as part of a two-post series. Perhaps the most striking reason is the screenshot below from one of my personal YouTube accounts (not my PPC Ian one, but another account). This report (from YouTube’s amazing video analytics) demonstrates the ways in which viewers arrived at my YouTube videos. Before looking at my YouTube analytics, I naturally assumed those watching my videos would find them:

  1. Embedded on my website (the particular channel in question is related to a high-volume website, and most videos are embedded)
  2. Searching on YouTube
  3. Searching on Google (since YouTube videos are embedded in the organic search results)

While all three of these are driving video views, the number one way in which people are finding my videos is a surprising one: YouTube suggested videos. Out of my 5,888 video views in the last 30 days, 4,090 are from suggested videos (that’s 69.5%)!

What are suggested videos? At the end of a YouTube video, you will oftentimes see a matrix of suggested videos, those of similar topical matter (or closely-related topical manner). Those watching YouTube videos typically watch a series of videos and they find the next one of interest by following YouTube’s suggestions.

It’s almost like watching TV. You’ll be sitting there watching a channel. All of the sudden, you get bored and start changing the channel. You don’t just watch one show, you watch multiple. Since YouTube videos are short, one can expect the average viewer to watch many clips in a row. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense, but I would have never guessed this going in!

So, we’ve established that I get a lot of video views from suggested videos, but why does this matter? Why does it make me a tremendous fan of YouTube? It’s easy: This is a brand new customer acquisition media channel.

I’m always looking for new channels, new ways of reaching users/potential customers. I’ve got organic search and paid search covered. If most of my YouTube traffic was coming from Google organic results, for example, I don’t see that as truly incremental. However, I view these suggested videos as incremental. It’s a media channel I’m really not getting at any other way. For this reason, I’m even more of a fan of YouTube than I was before. Stay tuned, in part 2 of this post, I’ll share more interesting nuances and thoughts around why YouTube is so important for your marketing program.

YouTube Stats

Image of YouTube Stats © PPCIan.com

Google+, SEO, and Paid Campaigns

Dec. 06

I’m a huge fan of Google+. It’s an amazing way to connect with your most passionate advocates. It’s also incredibly well-integrated with all Google products, including AdWords, organic search, YouTube, and more. Being a cornerstone of the Google strategy, I’m an advocate of investing heavily in your Google+ program.

AdLift SEO Agency

I’m also a tremendous fan of AdLift, the Bay Area’s SEO Agency. With customers like Comcast, PayPal, at&t interactive, and SHOPSTYLE, AdLift is one of the most advanced agencies in the incredibly complex world of SEO. Also, they’re great people. Here’s a fun post about PPC Ian having lunch with Prashant Puri (CEO) and Johnny Shami (VP, Business Development) from AdLift.

In addition to offering an amazing Cyber Monday Special to PPC Ian readers, AdLift also extended the opportunity my way to write a guest post on their amazing blog. You may recall, a while back I guest posted about Collaboration Between SEO and PPC Teams.

This time, I continued the theme of collaboration between earned media and paid media, with a focus on Google+. Think Google+ results should be completely owned by your social media and SEO teams? Think again! There are a multitude of strategies paid media teams can leverage to add tremendous momentum to your Google+ efforts. Head on over to the AdLift blog and read my post about Driving Google+ and Social Media Results Via Paid Campaigns. While you’re there, please say “hi” to the AdLift team on my behalf! Thanks for reading, and I wish you an amazing weekend.

Image of AdLift © AdLift

Generating Demand To Assist & Complement PPC

Jun. 16

PPC is my favorite marketing channel because of its incredible efficiency. After all, you are capturing prospective customers as they are searching for the precise product/service you sell. It doesn’t get much better than that, you are capturing people who are explicitly looking for brands like yours. However, one of the challenges for PPC, especially for gigantic programs, is search query volume. After optimizing your program incredibly well (I’m talking about years of optimization), your growth may start slowing down if search query volume in your category is not growing quickly enough. Of course, you can always do more with the same traffic (you could optimize landing page conversion rate, for example), however you will also continue to face intense competition for those incredibly valuable PPC clicks. What can you do in this situation? I’m a big fan of branching out and actually creating new demand. Creating demand for your brand is not going to be as cost-efficient as PPC, but it’s an important and scalable mid/top funnel marketing practice for the large-scale paid media advertiser.

Idea 1: Target Lookalikes Via Display Advertising

Demand

What does your customer look like? How old is your average customer? What gender are they? How much income do they make? What life events trigger your customer to purchase your product/service? Where does your customer live? The list goes on and on… Mine your data and build out profiles for your top performing segments. It’s ok to have segments of your current customer base and also segments for your overall industry, in which you are under-weighted (sometimes this second one works really well because you are not capturing these buckets well via traditional paid search). Truly get to know your customer.

Then, leverage this intelligence to target similar profiles via display advertising. Many of the prospective customers you reach have not yet searched for your specific product/service. (Even if they are, however, marketing is all about multiple touch points.) Because they fit the profile of your ideal customer, you will be able to start generating new, incremental demand. In creating demand, you are expanding the universe of prospective customers searching for your brand. You are no longer constrained by existing search query volume on your brand, product, or service!

Idea 2: Create Amazing Content, Share Via Social Media, and Then Retarget

Partner closely with your social media team. Build amazing content on your blog, YouTube channel, social profiles (maybe run some cool infographics). The idea here is to “go viral”. Once this happens, you are able to retarget! Get your Google analytics/retargeting pixel on your YouTube channel, Google+ page, and your blog. Because this all started with amazing viral content, it is very likely you will attract prospective customers to your cookie pool who were not actively searching for your brand/product on search engines. You are expanding your universe and creating incremental demand via amazing content. The content alone will do a lot of the heavy lifting and brand building. However, to fully close the loop, it often comes back to paid media. Retargeting, in this case, is one of the best vehicles around. When a prospective customer sees your display creative, they will instantly remember your great content and then visit your site to purchase.

Idea 3: Run Paid Social Media Campaigns To Identify New Customers

This tip closely ties into the last one, but is slightly different. Here, instead of letting your content do the heavy lifting alone, you are also combining great content with paid promotion. Run paid “like” campaigns. Promote your tweets and posts. Invest some money behind your social media efforts. This may not yield direct response conversions right away but will expand the universe of prospective customers viewing your content. Then, leverage great content to sell these prospective customers on your brand over time. You will reach prospective customers (who fit into your segmentation model) in social media who are not actively searching for your product/service just yet. Then, when the time is right and after your content has encouraged them to take action, they will remember your brand due to the relationship you have built. Once again, you are building incremental demand by leveraging paid media outside of PPC.

Paid search is an amazing channel. It’s very close to the point of conversion and must always be on. Because of its value, it must be managed closely and watched like a hawk. Leverage the tips above to generate new, incremental demand and you will likely (on a last click basis) see even more incremental conversions on your brand name keywords over time. The boost here is the incremental demand generation going on outside of paid search (across paid display, social media, and retargeting campaigns). Get really great at attribution and make sure to give those assisting new demand generators their fair share of credit!

Image of Demand © iStockPhoto – DaddyBit

Bing Is Integrating Quora Into Search Results

Apr. 21

I’m a huge fan of Quora (you can find me on Quora here). A while back, I Started Answering Questions on Quora. Now, I have a pretty cool and growing presence within online marketing on this cool social site. I really enjoy Quora for a multitude of reasons, with the following ranking towards the top of the list:

  • Quora is a great way to build your authority and presence within your field. I’m always looking for ways to “get out there” within the digital marketing community, and Quora truly provides a great platform for achieving this goal. Next time someone looks you up online, your Quora profile will rank high and make you look great.
  • Quora offers an amazing way to give back and contribute within the online marketing field. Giving back is always at the top of my list. It’s all about helping others succeed. Invest time to answer questions in great detail and you can easily make someone’s day!
  • This social platform drives sales. From time to time, I include recommendations on Quora, especially when someone asks about an online marketing platform or agency. I have received “thank yous” first hand from several platforms and agencies that mentioned my responses drove new partnerships / business relationships.
  • Quora offers an excellent avenue to network with others. One of my answers on Quora led to an email conversation and then eventually a phone call. Deliver great content and build your network!

Today, I was absolutely thrilled to see a new social media widget when searching on Bing. Check out the screenshot below, featuring Bing results for “auto insurance”. You’ll see the standard stuff: paid results at the top, paid results on the right rail, and organic results. However, now there’s a new social media widget / right rail as well. It includes a connect with Facebook placement at the top, followed by several Quora placements right after.

What does this mean for your the savvy online advertising professional? Your Quora program is going to gain even more exposure than before. If you are not investing in Quora, this is just one more reason (in addition to the ones listed above) to go all out. I really commend Bing for testing/featuring these Quora results!

Bing Quora

Image of Bing © Bing

  • Darren (1)