You take pride in creating content for valuable resources such as blogs, e-books and training videos. You make sure you're dedicated to producing quality work that will “wow” your audience. You set aside specific blocks on your calendar to write and revise. You prepare yourself for deep focus and concentration. You even pay for professional design, editing and copy-writing.
When you see the final product, you feel pro. You can’t wait to share it with the world. You post it everywhere and patiently wait. This is the one -- and it’s going viral, baby!
The results? Minimal traffic, a few leads and no conversions. But how? This was the "no-boundaries" content you knew your audience craved. And you should know by now: You’ve been doing this for months with little to no return on investment.
So why isn't your content marketing working? Take a look below to see if you spot any missing elements that are burning up your time, energy and money.
1. Captivating personality.
Knowing your business brand will help you nail down your voice. The tone, language and messages that represent your brand will help humanize your business. Together, they bring your products, programs and services to life.
When you add personality and soul to what you do, it becomes much more emotionally engaging in the marketplace. People will want to read, watch and listen. It resonates with something inside them and ignites their imaginations. If your content isn't reaching viewers at a personal level, it will cost you.
2. Clear personas.
Profiling your audience helps you narrow down detailed target markets and precise buyer personas. When you've clearly identified key demographics and psychographics, you can effectively streamline audience needs, wants and other invaluable specifics.
As a whole, these tactics can help you gain your ideal customer's attention. Get these down, and you can bridge consumers' knowledge gaps with relevant information. In the process, you'll earn trust along with their interest. Each time your content helps them gain perspective, confidence and progress, you're positioning your brand as one that's hard to forget. This directed content also can increase organic clicks, likes and shares. Without it, you’ll struggle to connect.
3. Precise content.
Content type and a known customer buying cycle help you create relevant, valuable content for your audience. But what about the right format? Do you know where and when it’s best to drop an e-book in front of your audience? Or which time and place your followers will watch a video instead of reading your amazing white paper? Understand how and when your audience prefers to receive information, and you'll make an impact that transforms costs into profits.
4. Concise placement.
All of the above can help you pinpoint better, more relevant platforms. You understandably want your logo and products to be seen in as many places as possible, but you don’t want your brand to be just anywhere. Focus on finding two or three primary platforms to start. Refine your approach until you’ve optimized these through traffic metrics, leads and your desired return on investment.
Saturating the market with too many locations will spread your message thinly across scattered channels. Your team will end up doing more work and having fewer conversions to show for it. This costs you in more ways than one as employees grow frustrated and your marketing dollars dwindle.
5. Consistent promotion.
Promoting inconsistencies will kill your content-marketing efforts. Whether you’re generating leads or practicing your lead-nurturing activities, it's imperative that your brand stay top-of-mind for audience members.
It’s easy to get caught up in prospecting for new traffic and leads, but don't forget your current email and social-media communities. It's more profitable to serve your existing customers first than to expend resources finding new ones. Learn from the audience you already have. They'll help you save time, energy and money so you can operate even more effectively.
6. Collaborative planning.
Taking time to plan strategically is indispensable. As much as it’s enticing to jump on the current hot tactic, don’t -- yet. You'll certainly want to explore different platforms and tactics, but think it through first.
Make sure these moves make sense for your brand, your audience, your team and your bottom line. That being said, overthinking during the planning stage can needlessly delay action and lead to missed opportunities. Find your balance between implementation speed and precision strategies.
7. Calculated production.
the results we anticipate. Strategies can fail miserably. That's why you must put in place methods to test, track and measure your predictions and expectations against actual outcomes.
Every business is different, every audience is special, and new technologies mean the marketplace is a dynamic one. The content you "know" will go viral sometimes bombs. A campaign you think smacks of effort half-done turns out to generate massive engagement.
The market can be surprising and often is unpredictable. Unless you have a system for tracking, of course. Capture data and use it to better calculate outcomes so you can produce better results in the future.
Learning to effectively and profitably promote your content will take time, energy and money -- period. But it shouldn’t put you in the red. Be clear, be strategic, and be sure to evaluate these seven planning considerations. Your upfront effort will pay for itself many times over.
FDMC Social & Digital Media
If 2015 was the year that brands and advertisers embraced online video, then 2016 will see the medium take the next step as live streaming takes off.
Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.
Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.
Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.
Advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.
Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.
Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.
Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.
While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micro- payments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.
The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites' algorithms that affect what content users see. I encourage small businesses to seriously look into live streaming the next time you want to generate traffic to your next event!
“Over the next few years, video is going to be some of the most engaging content online, and by continuing to innovate here, we have a chance to build the best place to watch and share videos.” -Mark Robertson, Facebook
Why should marketers upload native Facebook video to their Pages?
In short – video marketers should upload to Facebook because it works best, and because Facebook, a platform with the largest number of daily active users worldwide, has put significant resources into enhancing the platform to showcase and promote native video content. Although Facebook has allowed for uploading of native video for many years, they implemented several changes in mid-2014 that made native video, an incredibly popular medium for the platform.
After Facebook tested “auto-play” videos beginning in December 2013, they officially made it the default video playback experience in May of 2014. Since then, any video content uploaded to the platform, is given unique, and prominent visibility within user’s news feed through the automatically moving picture.
Secondly, Facebook, like other platforms, is constantly making algorithm adjustments. But, it’s become clear that Facebook began to reward native video posts (vs. photos, status updates, URL links – which include YouTube video links) in the algorithm a couple of years ago. Since mid-2014, there have been several studies published which indicate that natively uploaded video is one of the most-rewarded formats within Facebooks’ algorithm in terms of News Feed impressions delivered. Whether as a consequence of this preference or not, studies have also shown that video also generates more engagement than other post formats in Facebook. This is particularly true with regard to Facebook Live, for now. With growing popularity now of "Facebook Live" and the two video platforms now go hand-in-hand.
Benefits of using Facebook video vs. YouTube?
For most video content strategies, it's important to leverage both platforms. However al it's important to understand that they are also different applications and platforms. YouTube is a video-first destination, and is primarily a video discovery platform. YouTube provides a great environment for building video channels and for generating viewership both in the immediate term, as well as over time. Videos uploaded to YouTube vs. Facebook tend to bring viewership long after they are posted. Due to the nature of discovery on YouTube it is primarily driven via browse and search discovery methods.
For Facebook, viewership is often generated more-so from a “push” perspective. Facebook users are not searching out videos to watch on the platform, but rather, are viewing videos that they did not expect, but that were shared to them within their News Feeds.With Facebook, if your video content is compelling enough, it could potentially generate massive viewership in a very short time, due to the vast user base that resides in Facebook and the fact that any viewer/user can immediately share your video with their friends and fans inside the platform – creating viral potential. In fact, 53% of all Facebook video views are generated via shared posts.
Best practices for uploaded native
Facebook Page videos
An important consideration and best practice for any content published digitally (video in particular) is that there are a couple known best practices for Facebook video, that pertain much more-so to the environment in which videos are consumed in the platform.
Keep in mind that in a mobile experience (75% of all video views), aspect ratio matters. In the top 25K, only 30.9% of videos were widescreen, or 16:9 aspect ratio, while 56.3% of the top performing videos were either square (1:1 aspect ratio), or vertical videos. However, in taking a look at the top 1K most-engaged videos from that set, only 20.6% were 16:9, vs. more than 70% being either square, or vertical videos.
Because 85% of Facebook video views occur with sound-off, it’s important to include timed-text, so as to better tell the story and hook a viewer. This can be done in a couple different ways. First, you’ll notice that many successful video publishers on Facebook include text subtitles and overlays within the video itself. Secondly, adding closed-captions to your Facebook videos, can help. In fact, according to Facebook itself, video ads with closed captions generate 12% more video watch-time, than those without. By the way,the most important and obvious best practice required for success in a social platform like Facebook, is to understand, interact with, and cater to desires of the community itself.
Posting schedule or frequency for Facebook Videos
There can be more upside than there is downside to increasing the frequency at which a Facebook Page owner publishes content to their page. Many popular publishers like Buzz-Feed are publishing videos at a rate of 5 or more videos per day, per page. If you are concerned that this could cause post fatigue, or over-saturate your audience, pay close attention to the “negative feedback” analytics available within Facebook. If your audience is constantly hiding your video posts, or un-following your page, you can reduce the frequency with which you are uploading to test if that may be a cause.
While some studies suggest best days and times for posting video content (Thursdays and Fridays most often referenced), the best schedule is going to be one that best fits your unique audience, and their network. Therefore, rather than deciding schedule based off published, aggregated research, each publisher needs to deploy a proper, data-driven testing strategy in order to determine what works best for a given, often times, niche audience.
On Facebook, it appears that video metadata (while arguably always of importance), is less important in terms of video performance, than is the format and the content of the video itself. Remember, when users are served a video in Facebook, it’s not the metadata that causes them to make a decision as to whether or not to click and watch or engage with a video. Rather, it’s whether or not the video itself caught the users’ attention and interest in the few seconds it exists when scrolling through one’s feed.
All that being said, because metadata options are available within Facebook’s video uploading process. Metadata is still of importance and may be of importance more-so in the future. If Facebook enhances their internal search functionality, metadata may play a bigger role in the future. Additionally, for search engines like Google (which has been indexing more and more Facebook video URLS), metadata will be important as user signals within Facebook will be unavailable to outside search engines.
Tips For Facebook Videos and using Facebook Live
Interact with your audience: When you post a video and someone comments or reacts to your video, be sure to interact with that user. Aside from the overall importance of being interactive in social platforms, think about the result. Each time that you like and respond to a user’s comment, you generate an additional view, and two additional interactions. If that user then returns to view your reply, you then generate yet an additional view, and perhaps interaction. This engagement can help send additional positive signals to Facebook that your video is one worth providing additional exposure to.
Custom Thumbnails: While it’s true that most videos on Facebook are set to autoplay in the News Feed, there are many users who have opted to disable auto-play, for various reasons. In those cases, as well as for related videos, it’s still important to upload a compelling, custom thumbnail.
The future of Facebook video?
Live video is exploding on Facebook and will continue to grow in the future. It is a well-known fact that the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has taken a tremendous interest in live video streaming, and as such, has re-focused internal resources into building out the company’s live broadcasting offerings. I would expect to see continued push towards live video, as well as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality moving picture content formats. I believe that those who wish to succeed with Facebook video should look to embrace live video now and figure out what types of live video content resonate best with your audience such as grand openings, sales, related events that are relevant to your business or profession are some examples.
Lastly, given that Facebook is a social platform with audience interests that span genres, geographies, etc., it’s important to continually evaluate your audience and community, to determine what will resonate with them. Testing can be done through organic post-segmentation as well as via paid promotion. I hope these tips and comments give you more insight to Facebook Videos and Facebook Live. Good luck!
FDMC Social and Digital Video
With social media,reach and engagement rates having dipped so precipitously over the last year or so, the paying to play game is the only option for most brands now.
But what about businesses and brands that can’t afford to advertise on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and similar social platforms? Not everyone is willing, never mind able, to carve out the budget necessary to keep their content in front of a critical mass of relevant followers on a regular basis. Those organizations can be particularly creative or incredibly persistent, but the most effective strategy they can embrace may be to get all hands on deck in the form of an employee advocacy program. Of course, to go in this direction, every team member needs to be on board with their new tack, despite an abundance of reasons to be uncooperative, unknowingly or not.
Employers need their employees working together toward the same goal if this social media strategy is to be effective. And in many cases, that’s just not going to happen anytime soon without proper training, guidance, incentive and rewards.
Here are 10 BIG mistakes many businesses, brands, teams and their leaders are making with social media…
Not providing enough education
Social media isn’t rocket science, but it requires a huge leap of faith for the uninformed and uninitiated. Not only can it be daunting, it can be downright difficult for a newbie to craft even a simple tweet, never mind write a blog post or record a video. We at FDMC can help you with training and consulting. A comprehensive, mandatory educational program is key to bringing employees up to speed.
Not providing enough incentive
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that job descriptions seem to include everything but the kitchen sink nowadays. So why not add learning social media to employees’ list of responsibilities? Seriously. Everyone’s a marketer. Everyone’s in sales. And everyone’s on social media. Which should mean repping your employer every once in a while.
Not connecting with others
There’s power in numbers, especially when it comes to propagating content. No reach, no engagement. Don’t be afraid to suggest that team members broaden their networks, even if their roles have nothing to do with sales and marketing. Employees shouldn’t be kept under wraps. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the multiplier effect.
Not sharing organizational content
All for one, one for all. That should be an internal team’s creed. Someone writes a white paper, everyone shares it. That’s a no-brainer if you ask me. Every employee – certainly those in marketing, advertising, PR and social media – should be sharing content created under the corporate roof. Their personal brands should include the professional brands for whom they work.
Not producing original content
There’s a rule in group communications called 90-9-1. This rule suggests that 90% of the members simply lurk while 9% add something to the conversation and a mere 1% contribute the most. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can’t be effective on social media if you’re being anti-social. Key employees and related stakeholders should be more than encouraged to create their own content, they should be rewarded for doing so on a regular basis.
Not keeping up with changes
Call them Luddites, Laggards, Naysayers or just plain stubborn. Whatever you call them, call them late to the party, almost too late to gain entrance. Anyone serious about their career in this day and age who hasn’t at least started to use social media risks falling dangerously behind their colleagues, connections and competition on the job. And looked upon as being not that serious after all. Social Media is ever-changing. If you are going to be involved in social media, you need to pay attention to technology changes. Sometimes these changes occur monthly!
Not looking at the big picture
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people dismiss social media as a passing fad or an inconsequential trend despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. By 2018, 33% of the world’s population, or 2.44 billion people, are expected to be using social media. Social media is the biggest revolution in mass communications since the printing press. Anyone who can’t see that by now can’t see the forest for the trees.
Not brave enough to experiment
A tendency to take risks isn’t one of the hallmarks of a corporate executive, so any fear and trepidation among this set isn’t surprising to me. But this is not the time for analysis paralysis. Social media represents a trans formative change in the way people, not just business people, communicate. Like it or not, it’s not going anywhere soon, so resistance is futile.
Not aware of their capabilities
Most employees don’t realize how easy it is share content on social media, contribute to the conversation at large and actually help move the algorithmic needle in favor of their respective organizations. Whether they’re intimidated, confused or just plain misinformed, they think social media is difficult, complex and ineffective, while it’s actually quite the contrary. They can do it if they try.
Not leading by example
People will rarely take it upon themselves to share work-related content on their personal accounts. They’re afraid it’s irrelevant and off-putting to their audience. But if leaders are doing it themselves as an example to their teams, that’s another story altogether. Employees will quickly see the benefits of supporting their employer’s brand if they see senior managers practicing what they preach and walking the talk on social media themselves.
FDMC Social & Digital Media