Friday, October 20, 2017

The Key to Marketing & Advertising is the Landing Page

Without a doubt, the key to marketing & advertising is the landing page; at least for the next few years anyway. Why do I know this? Because of the following reasons…

1.      Despite facts and proof to the contrary; most Adwords advertisers still send their Ad traffic to their website home page, instead of, a dedicated landing page, that’s been specifically designed to convert their visitors, with ‘relevant content’, and tightly targeted CTA’s (Call To Action), to take the next step, to continue on, and to become a prospect, lead, or a sale!

2.      A Landing Page keeps things simple and ‘emotionally reactive’, in order to get your ideal prospect emotionally involved/committed with your offer(s).

3.      Landing Pages help a business communicate directly, and on the same level with their client’s specific needs and wants, as the clients perceive them to be. And NOT, what you or the business thinks they are! To use a Landing Page effectively, you must know your clients profiles, needs and wants, dreams and desires, and most importantly, how they feel about your product or service offering. How? By surveys, questionnaires, comments, forums, reviews, of this, or similar products/services!

4.      If you are doing any kind of advertising or promotions, and you need to drive those visitors somewhere, ONLY send them to a dedicated landing Page and nowhere else; otherwise, you will lose a majority of them. Why? Because of something called ‘bounce rate’, 40-60% of ALL visitors coming to ANY website will leave in a matter of seconds within their arrival; usually, never to return again. That’s a fact in the industry! So, Landing Pages keep most of the traffic where they land, and do not cause visitors to bounce as much!

5.      Landing pages are perfect spots to ‘observe and monitor’ various metrics regarding visitor engagement, and what specifically they look at and click through. For example, Crazy Egg has something they call the Overlay Report, which “identifies each clickable element on your web pages/landing pages as well as the number of % of clicks. So, one can easily zero in on the elements that are driving your visitors away from your intended goal.”

6.    One can easily split test any number of landing pages against each other, for the best targeted emotionally responsive headlines, or CTA’s. In this way, you will always be in the know, and be moving forward with your overall stats, and visitor engagement metrics. With a properly set up and designed Landing Page, you will only grow better and bigger!

7.     Landing pages simply work and have been working for smart marketers and businesses for years now; and, they are absolutely the most effective in getting click-through rates in the high double digits. Some Adwords can command an almost 80% click-through rate; in other words, 4 out of 5 people that view the specific landing page ad, will take the desired action, and do what is asked of them to do, follow-through, sign-up, call, get the free report, download for more information, get a free quote, etc.

8.     Landing Pages, once you know how to use them to effectively communicate with your prospects and future customers, will give you an unfair advantage over your competition. You will begin to grow unstoppably!

Please keep in mind, that if you would like to survive and stay competitive in your niche or business, then you need to realize one thing above all else…”The Key to Marketing & Advertising is the Landing Page1”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What’s Wrong with Template Video Creation Software?

This question begs repeating, “What’s wrong with template video creation software”? The template part, of course, that’s what’s wrong with video creation software; your presentation, identity, branding, and relevance, is being totally restricted by the limitations of your ‘fixed’ templates, the same exact ones that you purchased with your ‘video creation software’ package!

Whether the template is ‘image or video’ based, produces the same kind of restrictions for any business that is sincerely interested in creating a unique brand for themselves. Cartoon ‘stick’ characters, exploding graphics, animated logos, and words flashing on and off the screen that uses these fixed templates, are not the way to create a meaningful brand for your business.

Or even worse, the templates use many, too many, beautiful panoramic scenes, in both image and video, to use as a background in order to overlay your simple two-line or 4-5 word business message, for, 15-30 second business ads for example. These video creation programs cleverly make use of many, visually stunning, but totally irrelevant scenic wonders, of rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, or even spectacular skyscraper views from 400 feet above the pavement; these scenes, in fact, do not make for a personal brand. They can, in fact, cause more confusion re your existing brand or future brand to come.

How? By the lack of a ‘branding visual image’ for your unique business, products, and services. You see, these video backgrounds, these standardized templates, have absolutely nothing to do with you or your business. They are designed, and to be used for attention-grabbing purposes; mainly because they are visually attractive and engaging. It’s that simple! But, they can hurt you in the long run, or during multiple Ad campaigns. Because people can easily get lost in the visual, while it carries very little in the way of a message of your brand or business. The aesthetics and wonder of the scenes overtake your marketing or business message, your ‘brand’ therefore, will get lost in the ‘beautiful’ scenery.

Consistency, of content, image, and videos, produce confidence in your company, your business, and help create your brand. Your business needs personalized images, videos, graphics, logos, animations and art, specific to your customers’ needs and wants, and habits and desires. You do your selected audience, potential customer base, a disservice, by not creating images and videos that are relevant to them, and not, what’s the latest breath-taking view of whatever!

Every business needs to be branded; it must be unique to their business and customer base. All images, videos, and content need to be personally branded; and not, just by way of a logo at the top or bottom of the image or video. The image or video must relate to your brand and customers in some way, your text messages on top of these images or videos are secondary! These templates can only allow you to make certain basic changes, you only have a few lines of text per visual slide, and you may have 3-5 videos or video slides to use in your overall finished video; lasting again, 15-30 seconds in total. They are touted as being great for a quick Facebook or YouTube video Ad. But, at what cost?

Your image, your brand, and how you are perceived by your customer or potential customer base matters. It matters today, and it will always matter! Don’t cloud their minds with irrelevant and insignificant images/videos that do not reflect your company or business image. Using standardized templates are anathema to originality and creativity. Your business matters, make it matter, with every letter, word, graphic, image, and video you use. Don’t get lost in the sea of the same kind of videos and images, even as breath-taking as they may be.

Stay consistent with all your content your public sees. Be relevant and personal. Relate to their needs and wants. Use images and video scenes that they can easily relate to and ones that make your business stand out from the crowd. This is how you develop a brand.

Hopefully, I have made a good argument, as to what’s wrong with template video creation software

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Video Creation & Video Marketing: The Truth About Your Business’s Future

Video creation and video marketing as we all should know by now are the ‘in’ thing, for any business or marketer of any product, service or idea; it is the future of business. It works. It sells. It engages. It’s shared. Enough said!

What most businesses don’t seem to realize, either or after producing one or more videos, is what to do with them, once they’ve been made? Additionally, most business owners also encounter similar hesitation and even confusion, about the best types of videos to create for their business; and more importantly, to their bottom line, what their true costs will actually be. You see, videos can cost as low as a six bucks, for a 30-second cheesy photo-slide video with some text and background music, to thousands of dollars, for a professionally produced finished product; that garners both praise and admiration within their industry.

My thousands of hours of research into this exploding video industry over these past seven years has uncovered some very strange anomalies. Here are my facts: Most videos that are produced, either independently or by a professional video production house; we’re talking about 80%, are not designed for distribution. Most do not have any marketing or promotional legs once they’ve been created; there they sit, on their new YouTube channel, with, either under 100 views; or, just a few hundred, even after a few years!

Great videos; but, no way to get them to those that could have, should have, benefited from them…their potential clients! And, even if they did send them out to a few social media channels they are subscribed to, the content dies there, as they do not have many subscribers to send to; nor, are they active on these social accounts. So, what do they honestly expect to happen after the creation of one or more videos for their business?

As a business person, know this; there are many successful and workable formula’s and systems already in place, to help any business create powerful and stunning videos; affordable videos, that won’t break the bank! But, there’s just so much confusion and chaos in this marketplace; with every video wanna-a-be and video production house screaming to be heard! All claiming, that they are the best video creation experts.

Let’s get real; the creation of a video is not the end product here for your business; the number of people that watch it and engage with it, is your end result. Just because you can create or have made a pretty and stylish video, doesn’t mean it will give you your desired results, in terms of leads and sales; especially, when only a handful of people ever get to view it!

Many industry giants are predicting that video will literally change the world. According to a new report from Cisco, by 2019, online video will be responsible for four-fifths of global Internet traffic. The stats for the U.S. are even more impressive, coming in at 85%. Video is here and here to stay. It will or won’t be the future of your business; it will depend entirely on your video(s) and their targeted distribution network across multiple platforms and social media channels. NO VIDEO is an island unto itself.

Videos, once they are created, need to be marketed and distributed along the many social media channels, yours and many, many others. This can all be done automatically, with simple and affordable technologies; marketing technologies!

Here are some detailed social media stats your business needs to know:

As you can evidently see, your video can communicate with any of the above users, as it is free to be shared with anyone you choose when you are an active member of any of these social sites. Know this, if you know your potential audience, you can easily get any video to reach hundreds, even thousands of potential prospects at a time; that is, if you plan to market your videos; and most surprisingly, you can do this, even if the video is not professionally produced and costs thousands of dollars to make. The final cost of any video has absolutely nothing to do with its shares, likes, comments, or views! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Even the cheapest and cheesiest of videos can create hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of views; if, the video is relevant, entertaining, engages and compels the viewer to finish watching; and then, to take a desired or intended action; do what the video was created to do; get the viewer to do something. Opt-in, get a free download, subscribe, join, or call. The video initiates a call to action on the part of the viewer, your intended audience, your potential prospect! It activates them, because the video changed their mind, changed their view, or made them feel good. Those are the type of videos that work, personalized, customized videos that tell a real and truthful story, about your business, your products, and services.

You see, making a pretty, even cost effective video is NOT enough; even getting it out there to thousands of viewers is NOT enough. Why? Because the video must convert! It must be designed to convert! And, most videos do not sell, and are not designed to sell; whatever it is, you’re selling, or even pre-selling. Videos can also be a great prospect qualifying tool; that is, if they are designed specifically for that purpose. Videos are the best instrument to engage with your people; but videos, need to be created for real people, with real needs, and with real problems.

Videos don’t need to sell in a salesy sort of way; they just need to tell a good story and talk to your people on their level; as real people, and NOT just potential prospects to be sold! Astonishingly enough, what my research has also indicated is that even relatively poorly created videos, even with no calls to action; well, they still can take off and go viral…why, because they had a video distribution system set up and in place. 

Therefore, they generated likes, comments, shares, leads and sales! The future of your business rests entirely with your ability to create engaging videos for your audience; and to market these videos along the communication channels of their world; you know, where they hang out and share stuff, with other like-minded people, that they like and trust!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How To Use Creative Content To Drive Traffic To Your Site

How can your business use creative content to drive traffic to your website? Good question. First off, there’s so much content out there that it’s easy for anyone to become overwhelmed by it all. To drive traffic to your website requires two things; organic SEO traffic, or paid traffic. Those are your only options, other than, to blast out emails, mail out letters, make cold calls, or put up flyers here and there. Content is what drives traffic to any site; and, it appears, that the higher the quality of any content, the greater will be the returns, to bring in more, and a better quality of traffic.

What is creative content? Creative content is any content that is original, informative, well-written, interesting, engaging, easily readable, viewable, and gets the viewers, readers or listeners, to take the desired action. It compels people to act! That is the purpose of content; to engage the visitor to connect with your website and what it has to offer them. All creative content must connect with real people; it must be relevant to their specific needs and wants; including, their various actual pain points.

Creative content can take many forms; well-written articles or blog posts; engaging videos or podcasts; PDF files; reports, newsletters, webinars, seminars, lectures, email courses, eBooks, whitepapers, and the list goes on…. Please understand that spun content of any kind is NOT considered to be creative content, as spun content is a mish-mash of synonyms that have been substituted from an original written source. This content is designed to appear original; but, it usually does not read as well as the original; nor, does it convert people to take an action as well.

Well-written content that is of high quality should get you first page results in the search engines, without any paid means. Optimized content for relevance and to target specific keywords will also help your content get better received and even shared. The better the quality of your content, the greater is the chance of it being shared, as well as, the frequency of these shares will also increase dramatically! That’s the beauty and power of good quality creative content.

Most website owners don’t realize that only good quality content creates a flood of traffic to their sites. They think that they can just put up any quick piece of content, 400-500 words and that’s enough to get first page results; but, honestly, that’s not going to be nearly enough to interest and engage your viewers or readers enough to like, follow and share your content with their friends, associates and family. Only real relevant content can connect with your audience. There are no cheap or quickie fixes when it comes to quality content. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to use creative content to drive more traffic to your site.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Content is Not Just King, ‘Content is Everything’!

Whoever said ‘Content was King’, should have said, ‘Content is Everything; because, it is the most important element for an online webmaster or marketer to know; if they ever hope to achieve success within their chosen niche. Quality Content online these days, is like oil or gold discovered underground; right beneath your feet. It is yours to do with as you will; that is, if you know how to sell it to the highest bidder!

But, it must first be real gold and not fool’s gold; equally important, it must also be real oil, and not snake oil; if you get my meaning. Quality sells; and most importantly, quality resonates within the hearts, minds and wallets of every interested reader and viewer that loves your content; and devours it with every loving byte. Content is everything!

Regardless of the form this content takes, be it an article, blog post, video, podcast, PDF file, slideshow, etc.; the content you create or curate must be of the highest quality standard, and look and feel professional; or, if nothing else, it must be real! It must be real and honest; truthful and straightforward. It must be easily readable, viewable and understandable; while keeping your interest, and engaging you into an action; as intended. That’s what good quality, original content is supposed to do; to get you, into some sort of ‘feel-good’ action! Don’t you think?

I have said this many times before in my earlier writings and blogs, there can only be one original master of anything! In that article though, I was referring to an original work of art, and stating that there can only be one true master (like a Rembrandt or a da Vinci); the rest are all but imitators; nothing but duplicates, mere copies of the original masterpiece! I was arguing against spun content; because as a writer, I only know too well the true value and benefit of only producing and publishing, original quality written content, as opposed to the meaningless dribble of spun content!

It just works; and the readers and viewers love it; and then, they share it! Quality, irresistible and engaging content is hard to ignore; it captures your attention and interest from the ‘get-go’, and keeps you moving, as a willing participant, towards an intended destination. Simply, it just works wonders to create a loyal fan following!

I honestly believe that this is ingrained within our DNA and brain cells, to proactively engage in and respond to higher aesthetics, both in communication as well as within a creative and artistic framework. We know what we like and what we don’t, based on this innate and primal piece of our humanity; to be able to recognize and appreciate quality wherever we see and experience it. Know this, as an immutable LAW of internet marketing; “content is not just King, Content is EVERYTHING”!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Create Great Well Written Content

Create great content that is well written, readable and engaging; so that the readers will want more, even before they finish reading what they’re reading. Quality content communicates; it also resonates with the readers; as long as the message is tightly targeted, and uses their ‘language’. What do I mean by ‘language’? Language is based on shared realities, expressions, agreements and similar ways of perception. Your tribe, clique, group or organization, all have fixed beliefs, and ways of talking about matters, things and people that are common.

These like-minded expressions and individual emotional feelings towards anything or anyone keep the group in agreement and keep things real between them. They are both observable and measureable. And these, can also be skillfully used as a marketing tool to reach your people (whoever they may be); while communicating more intimately and effectively with your intended audience.

We are living in an Age where Content is King; at least quality content anyway! No longer will the search engines accept mediocrity, spun content, and other automated hacks to rig the system in the webmasters favor! Google evolves, Google updates, Google penalizes, and Google demolishes and annihilates ones rigged rankings; just ask JC Penny!

Quality, well-researched and well written content is the future of communication and mutual understandings; and not just online, but offline as well, within our society and other nations. It is where ALL the search engines are heading; now that most have AI’s to help them understand, assimilate and optimize their search results specifically to your search query. Know this, Google and YouTube understand EVERY word in your blog, on your site, and within your video. You are ranked or ‘tanked’ accordingly! :)

Therefore your words, expressions, connecting ideas and thoughts, all must be relevant and make sense to Google and the other search engines’ robotic analysis and algorithms; that is, if you wish to rank as an authority with relevant, well written, and great content. Otherwise, your content if it’s poorly written and just copied from here and there, won’t stand a chance. Google will know you, will rank you, and love or hate you, by the quality of your content and how well written it is for your intended audience.

I know this from personal experience; nearly a decade worth of writing millions of well written words, over a network of a hundred different blogs and niches. I know exactly what Google and YouTube wants, re content. They want, and now expect and demand the best. You know, content is King! So, if you really expect to be on the first page of Google or YouTube, know how to getfirst page results, every time; simply, by creating great well written content for your readership or viewership.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Selling Physical Products Online Vs. Selling Digital Products Online: The Power of Numbers

Selling physical products online are and can continue to be very profitable and ever-expanding; at least currently speaking! But, what is even bigger and brighter, in terms of financial profit potential, is the power of selling and marketing, digital products online! There has never been anything comparable in the history of sales; we’re not merely talking ‘arithmetic’ growth, speaking mathematically; I am talking in realistic terms of ‘exponential’ sales! That’s the true power and dynamics of digital internet marketing!

Physical products are manufactured, they use physical materials, and they must be delivered across many distances, using physical energy and individual human physical power. They mostly deplete our fragile environment and create much more waste, as an immediate by-product of both their creation and eventual destruction. They are not sustainable; and most importantly, shareable, with many others, and all at the same time. This is their greatest limitation and expense! More about this point later on….

Selling physical products anywhere, either online or from a brick and mortar, will always have its physically imposing limitations. For one, you only have so much space to allocate towards storing it, as you sell it. Even if you have a fulfillment house doing all the storage and delivery of the physical product; even the refunds; you will still have limits as to your number of sales; and most importantly, your subsequent profits…no matter what! This fact is simply bound to the inescapable and undeniable physical laws of the Universe!

Whereas, with an in-demand digital product; there are no physical barriers or limitations; no resistance to expansion; no friction on your forward sales; and, nothing to stop the exponential growth of your digital product! One that I might add, also comes with zero waste; at least not in physical terms! This alone, is of astronomical value; as long as we’re speaking, using larger terms. The vastness of space, is of comparable magnitude to the numbers one can generate selling digital products online. Hyperbole? I don’t think so!

At present, there are over 5 billion cell-phones worldwide; our world is more connected now than ever before; and yet, we only have just over 2 billion people with internet connections worldwide; so you can see, digital information is still in its relative infancy! We still have about 6 billion people that will eventually, within the next few years or so, come online. For the near future, feeding, clothing, and servicing the needs of 8-10 billion human beings will not be an easy task; especially, in physical terms. We have physical limitations on our population growth; if we grow any bigger; well, as we’ve already seen; something will have to give, and from somewhere!

In the not so distant future, digital information that will be easily accessible, practical, readable and understandable; while being affordable to the masses, will generate not billions, but trillions upon trillions of potential profits; to those marketers that are willing to think in terms of BIG NUMBERS! Exponential numbers! Our only saving grace as a species, in this author’s humble opinion, is to market and sell online digital products to the ever-growing and ever-needy masses. They need information to grow, to learn, to understand; and they need practical and sustainable solutions to save their lives; no matter where they reside on our planet.

Those digital marketers that will be able to communicate and direct their digital products to the masses, will be the ones that will be guaranteed a financial future, based on unlimited digital needs and growth, and realistically based on the true desires of the many needy billions! You want to see unlimited financial growth? Find a much needed solution or an answer to something people find important in their lives; and then, find or create a digital product to meet those needs; specifically and caringly! This is your only true formula for unprecedented exponential growth!