Tag : youtube

YouTube’s Iron Fist: What It Says About Social Media

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4Sep

Ever since people realized that they could say whatever they want on the internet, there have been people trying to figure out rules, restrictions, and ultimately, censoring.  Obviously, once “censor” starts to be thrown around, all content creators’ ears perk up. Many creative individuals, whether they are in a business role or not, have found a home on the wild wild web. Whenever a new law or chunk of fine print puts this freedom into question, people become restless. Right now, YouTube has started a new content-related quarrel.

The social media platform and video hosting site, YouTube, and its owner, Google, may have started something they weren’t entirely ready for. Since its founding in 2005, YouTube has not only attracted a massive gathering but also many vloggers or, video bloggers, now earn a living by creating channels of content. YouTube hit one of its stars, Philip DeFranco, right where it hurts, advertising. They warned that certain videos of his breached their rules, and would take away their monetization and advertising features. No ads mean no revenue for Youtubers. Why is all this happening? In YouTube’s fine print, they mention that all content must be “advertiser-friendly.” As you could imagine, this means no excessive vulgarity, nudity, drug use, etc. Understandable, right? But YouTube’s recent crackdown targeted videos that were hardly offensive at all.
DeFranco wasn’t the only popular filmmaker to receive one of these notices. However, YouTube reps clearly stated that this is not a new rule, but rather a crackdown on previously existing conditions. As you could imagine, tensions are a little high in the YouTube world. Beyond who’s wrong or right, there are a few things social media marketers can take away from this:
  1. Advertising is (still) king. If ads were pointless, this conflict would never happen because there would be no professional YouTubers. In fact, YouTube itself would most likely be a sliver of its current size if there were no revenue pumping through the ad channels. Social media marketers – take note! If you ever wonder if your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube ads matter, think about this impending struggle between YouTube and YouTuber, which is bound to escalate if this censoring – or “stern enforcement of policies”, if you don’t like that term – continues.
  2. Content creators underestimate platforms. As professionals that utilize the world’s most popular sites on a daily basis, social media professionals may view excessive rules and regulations as obstacles rather than guidelines. That being said, we need to realize that there are real rules with real reciprocations for a variety of reasons and we need to follow them. So, keep your content classy and professional, don’t spam or scam followers in any way, and try to avoid copyrighted material that you don’t own.

  3. Platforms underestimate content creators. There was a time when YouTube was the only option. There were no other video-hosting websites, just as there were very few social media sites. Now, things are different. If DeFranco and other YouTube stars feel so inclined, they could pull out of YouTube and focus on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and many other sites. This would not go well for Google. I’m not saying that platforms should cater to every whim of the user, or vice versa, but platforms need to know they are actually replaceable by the next best thing.

It will be interesting to see just what happens in this swelling conflict. YouTube may have to loosen the leash. Vloggers may have to dial down the content (which is unlikely to happen). Either way, the internet, as always, is alive and well and full of changes, which professionals need to be ready to adapt to.

What do you think of this new conflict? Comment below!
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Video Marketing: Yes, You Can!

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12Jan

On a weekly basis, I sit down and consult with businesses who need help creating effective marketing strategies.  I relish these face-to-face meetings as they focus on two of my most favorite topics: marketing and strategy.  Something that I have noticed lately is the companies that I encounter have a growing interested in video, which excites me.  Online influencers, including myself, have always touted the power of video in promoting your brand online.  Your target market engages more with visuals than the written word, so it is an important aspect of the online marketing mix.

The scary part of this ride is not knowing how exactly to create the video without hiring a specialist.  If you are fortunate enough to be a business with a large marketing budget, then I suggest hiring a professional.  This will save you time, a very expensive asset in your day-to-day live.

But, not many companies have an endless marketing budget that provides enough capital to produce a professional video.  So the answer is the create the video in-house, with your own team putting all the pieces together.  But how will busy marketers find the time to create a cutting-edge promotional video?

The answer is to take it step-by-step, not all at once.  Creating a video is a fluid process that you can take at your own speed.  To help you do this, I want to share my own step-by-step process on how you can complete your first video!

Let’s get started:

*Invest in an inexpensive video camera that can controlled by remote control.  Go Pro’s are great (albeit a little pricey) and have lots of easy applications and settings.  But just a thought.
*Print a blog that you have written, or some marketing collateral with a good chunk of copy in it. Setup your camera and record yourself reading the copy directly to camera.  Then review the video and check the following aspects:
*Lighting: is it too dark, too light, too grainy?
*Setting: is it appropriate, too busy as a background, too cavernous?
*Sound: can you understand what you are saying, is there a lot of ambient noise?
*Frame: do you like how the camera is situated in the shot, are you cutting off anything important, or leaving in too much?
*Once you have done this, do a few more practice runs, making adjustments to the A-D elements above.
*Now you should be at a point where you can create a script/outline for your video.  The first video that you create should be an ABOUT video explaining your business.
*Once you create the script, read it aloud and ensure that it does not clock longer than 3 minutes.  Remember your audience is exposed to LOTS of information and visuals, so keep it concise and engaging.
*Decide who will be featured in the video.  Usually go with a highly visible and credible person in your organization (which sometimes is not the CEO).
*Use the guidelines that you created in #3 and do a few dry runs taping the person.
*Review these and make any further adjustments.
*Do the final taping.

Now that you have the raw video, you can use a program such as iMovie (which is an Apple program) or a Windows Movie Maker (for PCs) to format the video.  The main formatting items that I would suggest that you add to your promotional video are:

*Titles at the beginning: possibly company logo and slogan

*Titles at the bottom to introduce the speaker (or speakers)

*Call to action at the end with contact numbers and logo again

What is great about the video editing programs is that you can learn them easily (believe it or not) and you can create a wonderful video in no time.  Also, to make you feel a little less overwhelmed, there are templates in these programs that you can apply to your video, thus enabling you to brand and edit it much easier.

My top tip here?  Relax!  This is your first trial, so it is going to take the most time.  Once you nail the format, just imagine how easy it will be to create ones in the future.  Generally  I find that once I teach someone how to do this process, the first one takes a bit of time, but the second video takes about 60% less time.

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Your Social Media Prescription: The Cost of Social Media

13May

This has been republished courtesy of Doctor’s Life Magazine – take a look at the online version here.

Well, it’s free! Sort of. We all know the importance of social media, and to utilize it effectively, you’re going to have to spend either time, or money! It’s up to you as to which one you use! Currently ALL of these powerful social media sites are free to use. Sure, there are options that they utilize to try and get your money, from paying for (promoting) your posts, upgrading your account (you probably don’t need to do this) and with e-commerce options. But basically there’s no charge for using these platforms. But we all know the saying: “Time is money.” To optimize, populate (with a targeted audience), and fill your site (with content that moves your audience to action) takes some time, effort, and planning. Many businesses out there are seriously vamping their following, their sales, and reputation as thought leaders using social media—all the while using social media as a vehicle of P.R. and brand awareness—with speed racer proportions! Are you up to the challenge?

Social media platforms are a constantly changing and evolving medium. With that in mind, although we consider ourselves “specialists,” one can never be an “expert,” as all of us are constantly learning these changes, updates, tweaks, and new applications within the platforms. But the general principals with social media, as we mentioned above are:

Optimize your site. Make sure your images mirror your website so that your brand carries through. After all, this is a living, breathing, evolving version of your website. Make sure you fill it out completely—people expect it to look as professional, and it is a reflection of you and your business. Be sure that it has your location, contact info, hours and that all the links work. Also, be sure that you aren’t utilizing a personal page for your business.

Populate it with people that you feel might be interested (peers, current and potential clients and supporters, industry leaders, and more). Don’t be a wallflower here—reach out and follow/like/connect with at least 10 new businesses or people a day, and leave a comment on their site, letting them know you like something they have posted (if you do, remember – be genuine).

Fill your site several times a day with great content (comments, quotes, pictures/videos, questions, tips, news article links, announcements, new products/services, upcoming events/appearances, achievements, links to your blog/website).

Engage with your audience. If someone likes or comments on something you’ve posted be sure to thank them, and maybe even encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or blog “for more great tips like this.” But make it easy for them—include the link that will bring them there. Bit.ly is a great site for shortening and customizing a link. Check it out. (Tip: Always test a link before you send it – for example I recently wrote an article that was published in Doctor’s Life Magazine, and we posted it on our website. I created a short link, but every time I share it, I test it to make sure it’s still valid, or that I didn’t mistype it. Check it out: bit.ly/SocialMediaRx

With that in mind we recommend that everyone complete a simple marketing plan to ensure that you know what you have to do each day and get it done. Much like a diet, exercise plan, or even a road trip, having a pre-written plan or map in front of you makes you much more likely to stick to the proper route and reach your goal more efficiently and effectively.

What about the cost? Well, with the platforms being free of charge, what you have to think about in terms of cost is the time factor, and who you will have do all of the above actions. Here are your options:

1. Do it yourself

2. Office manager / marketing manager

3. Receptionist / entry level person

4. Outsourcing

Doing it yourself is a great option, as this is your reputation and business that you’ll be promoting. However, it does take you away from what you do best—running your practice.

Having an upper management person take over your social media is also a good idea, as they usually have a great understanding of your business, products and services, vision, and goals in mind, but it also takes them away from other duties, and if it’s your marketer, it takes them away from other sales duties, and face to face activities. Additionally, these people tend to be your higher paid employees and if they’re constantly being interrupted or aren’t proficient with social media – the added time equals more money out of your pocket.

An entry level person may seem to be a good alternative, they are more economical, sometimes are younger and more proficient on social media—but remember, this is your reputation we’re talking about. Will they deliver the business acumen, professionalism, and deep-digging, laser-focused campaign that you need? Will they be on top of the latest applications and logistics with these platforms that change daily?

Outsourcing to a company that specializes in social media may be your best bet! A common misconception is that hiring firms like ours to perform your social media marketing campaign is just too expensive. Having an in-house person do the work, or hiring someone may also include you having to pay for their benefits, taxes, insurance and when that person is out sick, someone else has to do the social media or it doesn’t get done.

Our services provide everything listed above so that you and your business can have 100 percent social media management, optimization, engagement, and monitoring taken care of—all for the cost of 4-10 venti coffees a day, depending on the services you choose!

Now, it’s obvious, no one drinks that many coffee’s a day, but it’s not out of the question for your sales/marketing rep to bring that many coffees and bagels to the offices that they call on. In fact, I utilize a caterer that specializes in pharmaceutical rep lunches. I asked them what the range and average is that pharma reps spend on lunches—I was surprised that the range was between $100-$500 per lunch, and the average is $150-175! Many times you have to feed the entire office in hopes of getting to the ONE decision maker that they need an audience with. With social media, you can get directly to that target or decision maker without all that hassle.

Think of that in terms of other more “traditional” means of advertising and P.R.—billboards, print and TV ads, trade shows—are all great ways of getting your name out there – however with social media, your message can change several times a day, is portable (it can be shared across the world with the push of a button), looking at peoples comments and the logistics – you are able to see what your following likes to hear about, and most importantly – you can connect with that laser focused target audience – people that WANT to be educated by, entertained by, and engage with YOU.

When outsourcing your social media, you may ask how we learn about you, your practice, your business, what sets you apart, what we can post, and to whom—this is where we excel. In the beginning, we have our clients complete a short questionnaire that gives us our parameters to start, and then we give you the option to pre-approve the posts that go out in your behalf. Our team of social media strategists meet regularly to discuss your campaign, how to improve, manage, and innovate your campaign. We also check in with you if anything comes up that is beyond our scope, is a referral, or can be put in your sales funnel for follow up by your sales and marketing team.

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