Odds are you’ve heard of Google+ but haven’t used it unless you are just in love with social media or technology in general. I’ll be honest, I’ve been very skeptical of it and have yet to really embrace it. Why would you or me want to be on yet another social network?
Well, as usual, Google has made it nearly impossible to ignore Google+. As I’ve talked about in a previous post about Google search personalization, Google is making their search results more personalized to your searching history. Nobody gets the same search results anymore if they use google regularly. They track what you do whether yo are logged in or not. A high percentage of people have gmail.com email accounts that they check on a regular basis. Many of these people never log out. Well, everything at google is tied together (gmail,calendar, docs, maps, news reader, etc) and now they are tied to google+. Soooo….?
Well, they have made +1 part of their ranking algorithms. When you +1 a site, you are giving your vote of confidence for that site. Additionally, anybody in your google+ circle tha toes a similar search will get an even higher weight in the algorithm to see the site you gave a +1 to. Basically, this means that websites that have more +1 will rank much higher and if you have a large number of people in your circles, like customers and possible customers, then they will get them at the top.
Google+ is growing very rapidly. Its not as large as Facebook, but because of their ties to search results, it is making it more and more important, one that organizations can not afford to ignore unfortunately.
Let’s take an example of a local business like a church. If some goes on google maps and searches for a church (common practice these days folks!) they will get a list of churches with pins on a map. Right now you see the name of the church, phone, website, a review and a review rating. Very soon, the +1 is going to show up next to that rating. People, for better or worse, trust these ratings and will trust the number of +1 as well. The number of +1 will also put you at the top of the list.
Another example would be if they did the same search on google itself. Google determines where the person that is searching geographically and provides local results to them for their search. Those churches with the larger number of +1 will have a significant advantage over those that don’t. The unfortunate part of this is that the big churches will win out oer the small churches. The ones that have embraced google+ early will win over those that start later.
Google is definitely building an empire that we are forced to be part of. Kind of a love/hate relationship. Anyway, in the spirit of this blog post I’ve added a +1 to each of my blog posts. If you have a Google+ account, I would love it if you clicked on it of course or joined the Meeklabs Google+ circle!!
With YouTube being such an important part of an online marketing strategy, as well as connecting with your audience, just how do you publish on YouTube? It’s much easier than you’d think.
First, you need a digital video camera. You don’t need anything expensive. In fact most digital cameras will record video these days. Of course if you want to go professional, there are cameras and accessories for everyone’s taste.
For a simple guy like me, with just a digital camera, I import my videos using Google’s Picasa to keep track of them. Then if I want to do any editing, there are numerous free apps or cheap apps for both Apple and Microsoft platforms.
Next, you just need to create an account (if you don’t already have one) on YouTube then click on the Upload button.
From there you can then click on Upload video, find the video on your hard drive and then finish waiting for it to upload. As long as the video is less than 2 gigs in size, you can upload very long videos. I’ve seen videos over an hour long on YouTube before.
While you are waiting for it to upload, you can start entering text about the video.
This detail is important if you want it to be found easily. Use related keywords in your title, tags and description. Don’t go overboard, but it should make sense. Also select the right categories for the content.
Finally, if you want to put it on one of your web pages or share it with anyone, just grab the share link or the code to paste on your page. They’ve made it very easy to share videos which is why YouTube has been so successful.
It’s as simple as that. There is much more you can do, but this gets you most everything you need to begin.
Ok, you may have heard this before, but did you know that YouTube search used more often than Yahoo and Bing combined? Supposedly that makes them the second largest search engine. I’m not so sure I’d classify it as a search engine since it only searches content posted within its system, but people really use it a lot!
I admit that I am not one of those people that uses YouTube much. I don’t have time to sit around watching videos all day. But, I do watch videos on other sites that are served by YouTube at least a couple of times a day. I find I can consume a concept faster watching a video than reading a lame brochure.
If you asked any search engine marketing consultant if you or your organization should be on YouTube, and you’ll get an overwhelming 100% yes answer. Why?
- Related videos from Youtube are included in search engine results on Google. Usually in one of the top five positions. There isn’t much information about how videos are chosen, but I’ll expand more on that in a future post.
- It’s easier to watch video for most people than reading text. The video has to be enticing enough for people to watch it, but because you are affecting multiple senses, it is much more likely to be easier to understand and retain.
- A picture is worth 1000 words, and video is worth much more. You can pack much more information into a video, even hidden meanings behind your message. But not matter how it is done, people remember videos much easier than they do with something they read online or in an email.
So you may think that you have to hire a professional agency which costs thousands of dollars to create, record and post video? Well, it depends some on your brand and what you are selling, but for most churches out there, you can accomplish it for less than $100 with a Flip video camera and Internet access. YouTube doesn’t cost anything and they allow you to publish as much as you want.
But you need to take that first step and just begin. It may seem intimidating, but the video you create could change a life. You never know!
If you are interested in growing your organization or getting your voice heard, you have to do more than just create a website. So, what are the ways people may come to your website? More than you think. Here are the top ones I can think of. If you have more, send them my way!
- Heard or saw your advertisement on Radio/TV/Publication
- Saw a press release on one of the many press release websites such as PRWeb or maybe Digg
- Link from some else’s blog/forum or directory
- Word of mouth
- Search results from a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
- Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc)
- Business card, brochure, direct mail
- Pay Per Click (PPC) and banner advertising
- Email marketing and nurturing
- Something non-traditional like hiring monkeys to hand out business cards in Times Square.
You can spend a TON of money doing all of these activities, some of them more than others. Some are easy to measure, some are not. Each business will know what works better for them but I like those that I can prove reach my audience so I can improve on them. Of course its more fun to let loose an army of monkeys, but doubt that the publicity would be very positive.
If I had fully launched this site yet, I’d love to hear everyone’s experience in non-traditional marketing, but since it is only me so far, I’m not expecting any responses. When I have a few more people visiting here, I’ll ask the question again. But if you’ve happened upon this post, let’s hear your story.