When creating video content, it’s natural to want it to go viral to maximize your earned media.
It’s easy to get so focused on achieving viral success that the core objective for your video content is for it to go viral.
This is what dreams are made of after all.
The problem is that achieving the kind of viral success that we’ve all seen other videos accomplish, is that it isn’t as simple as creating killer video content, posting it on YouTube, and then watching your view count skyrocket.
There are many factors that affect a video’s likelihood of ‘going viral’, and many of which are either beyond your control, or take huge amounts of time or financial resources to achieve.
Many branded viral videos achieve that status by being supported by a sizable seeding campaign. When a video is produced, companies will invest huge dollars in paid media to drive views of their YouTube content, pay to have high-profile sites and blogs host the content, and will put PR initiatives in place to raise the profile of their content to garner more views.
This type of seeding program can cost huge dollars. Consider this, I recently ran a YouTube TrueView campaign and achieved a cost per view (CPV) of roughly 5 cents.
Pretty good right?
We’ll, it is. But if you wanted to achieve 1 million views, you’d need to invest $50,000 in paid media to hit this milestone.
What about seeding video content amongst your own community, you might be thinking?
Good thought, but again, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Let’s consider the success that some large brands have had in recent history. Evian and their latest ‘viral hit’ Baby&Me is bearing down on hitting 50,000,000 views on YouTube. 50 MILLION!
Now, take a look on their Facebook Timeline at the number of actions their cross-promotional updates have achieved. Just a ballpark guess, maybe 4,000-5,000 actions. Maybe. Pretty awesome, but this surely can’t account for the 50 million views the video has achieved.
So, you’ve got to think that there are some serious dollars being invested to seed this content or drive views via paid media.
How about Red Bull and their viral success?
Well, Red Bull has a massive social media community; right around 38,000,000 fans on Facebook, and a bit over 1,000,000 followers on Twitter.
With a community of this size, and with the incredible volume of content Red Bull produces, they do have a greater chance of organically seeding content and having it go viral.
But, how did they acquire all of these fans and followers? I can tell you that many organizations pay big dollars on Facebook ad buys to acquire fans. Typically, a cost of $1-2 per fan acquisition is thought to be average when doing so through advertising. So, even at $1 per fan, many large communities have probably invested big dollars to acquire these staggering numbers of fans.
We’ve also got to factor in the cost of sustaining a publication calendar as robust as Red Bull’s. They have an in-house media production division, pay large sums of money to sponsor the world’s top extreme athletes, sponsor many high-profile competitions and events, and more. They’ve invested so heavily in these areas, that they’ve achieved near-ubiquity in extreme sports. All of these things that contribute to Red Bull’s ability to regularly achieve viral success cost huge sums of money.
The purpose of this article isn’t to discourage you from dreaming big and creating amazing video content, but rather to help you focus your attention and effort on what is truly important.
When producing video content, make sure you’re adding huge value to your existing audience. They’ll love you for it and it will help you to convert consumers to loyalists, and loyalists to ambassadors.
If your aim is to grow your audience and acquire new consumers, then consider a seeding program for your content. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars to achieve great results. Be smart with the advertising dollars you have, invest time and energy to understand who your target audience should be, and you’ll see new people joining your communities in no time.
What measures do you use to gauge the success of your video content?
Have any of your videos gone ‘viral’? If so, how did you accomplish that?
It would be great to chat with you more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
When you get your business blog started, it’s tempting to invest in a custom blog design, theme customization, or other features that will set your business’ blog apart from the rest.
My advice on this is quite simple; DON’T.
Don’t pay anything from a tech or development standpoint to get your blog up and running, particularly before you’ve figured out exactly what you will be blogging about, how your blog will contribute to your business goals, how you plan to convert your readership, and have experience blogging for some time.
There are a huge number of free options
WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are fantastic blogging platforms, and for basic features, they’re free.
When you’re getting started, don’t feel pressure to invest in something that is beyond your needs. Even free blogging platforms offer vast feature sets and options for customization.
It might take a while to determine your needs
It’s immensely difficult to determine exactly which features are going to be desirable and useful for your blog and to your consumers until you get started and see how it is going to evolve and grow.
Spend time utilizing a free blogging platform so you will better understand which features will be most valuable to invest in when the time is right to customize your blogging experience.
Establish blogging as part of your routine
The number of custom designed blogs I’ve seen that haven’t been updated in over a year is staggering.
Before making a significant investment in you business’ blogging platform, make sure that blogging is going to be something you can sustain, and that will yield real business results. When you do, you’ll better understand your potential ROI and will be able to make informed decisions about your investment.
In time, you might find more cost-effective solutions
Robust developer communities support many of the large blogging CMS platforms. This means there are a huge number of developers and designers who are sharing their themes, templates, designs, plug-ins, and more for affordable rates, and in some cases for free. Chances are that even if you have very specific requirements in mind for the function, format or features of your business blog, that there is probably someone out there who has already developed a low cost solution that you can take advantage of.
Instead of rushing into making decisions about every last detail to do with the design and function of your blog and relaying those to your developer, take your time to see if there are more affordable solutions that you can implement. Chances are, there will be.
At the end of the day, your business blog is all about value
The value you offer consumers with your content should be the focus of your business’ blogging efforts, not the minutia of every little detail of design and functionality.
When you’re just getting started blogging for your business, don’t get caught up in all of the bells and whistles. Instead, focus on producing killer content that is going to build, sustain, engage and provide value to your current and prospective consumers.
Instead of investing heavily in the custom development or design of a blog for your business, invest resources in producing absolutely killer content for your targeted consumers, and promoting that content through relevant channels. The results you will achieve by providing valuable and engaging content will far outweigh the results you can achieve by paying to add the one or two features or design flourishes that you’d ideally like to see on your blog.
Be patient in the short-term and develop blogging to become an integral part of your business’ value proposition. When you’ve gained enough experience to see what works and what doesn’t, you’ll be in a better position to make wise investment decisions for customizing your business’ blog for you, and your consumers’ needs.
What blogging CMS do you use for your business?
If you use a common blogging CMS, what features or limitations would you love to see implemented?
In your experience, what has been the single most valuable aspect of blogging for your business?
It would be great to chat with you about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Photo Credit: Veer
The reality of social media and content marketing is such that no matter what business you are in, you are also in the publication business.
Publishing meaningful content is incredibly important for businesses to cultivate, maintain, and grow their business. A strong digital and social media presence can be a deciding factor for many consumers who are increasingly looking to digital and social platforms to assist them with their purchase decisions.
To develop a strong social media and digital presence, it is critical for businesses to create and sustain regular publication calendars.
The regularity that each business publishes content is really dependent on your respective audience and what platform you are publishing on. For some businesses this could mean publishing content several times per day, and for others it could mean once per month, or longer.
Regardless of how frequently you need to publish new content, it is absolutely necessary that you do so with dependability, and that the content you publish is strategically relevant to your business. Creating a publication calendar can assist with both of these things.
Following are a few of the reasons why creating and sustaining a regular publication calendar is imperative:
Keep consumers interested and involved with your business
Think about the websites and blogs that you visit on a daily basis. It’s likely that they’re constantly being updated with interesting content that is relevant to you. If those sites weren’t updated frequently and dependably, you probably wouldn’t have the same interest in them as you do.
When establishing a publication calendar for you your business or brand, ensure that you’re going to be providing new content frequently enough to keep your audience interested, engaged, and coming back for more.
Dominate search results
Search engines index some types of content independently. Blog posts and videos are prime examples of content formats that appear this way.
If your business or brand is producing content in accordance to a regular publication calendar, your business is going to be more likely to dominate search results for your business, industry, category, and related search terms. Ultimately this will lead to greater exposure, an influx of leads, and if you are able to convert, sales.
Feed your content pipeline
This is an obvious one, but still worth mentioning. Creating a publication calendar for your brand will help to keep content creators in your organization organized and focused on producing content on a regular and ongoing basis. This will result in a steady stream of material to feed your content pipeline.
Show consumers that you’re in business!
Have you ever arrived on a business’ website, blog, or social media network to see that their last content update was 7 months ago and thought, ‘I wonder if these guys are even in business anymore’?
Even if you haven’t thought exactly this, it leaves consumers with a negative impression of a business or brand when they appear to an ill-maintained digital or social media property. It can read as a lack of enthusiasm, dedication, or commitment to your business, which are all thoughts you don’t want your consumers to have.
The simple solve is – you guessed it – to create a regular publication calendar and stick with it. If you’re going to be publishing new content relatively infrequently, it might be worthwhile communicating your schedule in a highly visible place such as your ‘About’ page so visitors will understand when they should check back in for new content.
Continuous improvement and provision of value
Another great benefit to creating and maintaining a regular publication calendar is that it will keep you thinking about your business, consumers, category, products, services, innovation, and any number of ways you can provide value to your consumers through social media.
This will force you to stay relevant, to develop and grow the way you think about all aspects of your business, and your consumers will thank you for it by seeing you as a trusted source of value and leader in your category. Results of this can include increased brand affinity, loyalty, strengthened purchase intent, and more.
There are a huge number of benefits that publishing content on a regular and ongoing basis can afford. Creating and executing against a well-crafted publication calendar can help to keep you, your social media team, and social media contributors organized and working to maximize success.
How does a publication calendar help your organization stay organized on social media?
Have you ever had a negative experience from not employing a publication calendar?
What are the greatest benefits that you have experienced from executing against a publication calendar?
It would be great to discuss this with you further in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
A blog post shouldn’t just be a blog post.
Any time you put the effort into writing a blog post, you should consider how to deconstruct it into several pieces of shorter form content to feed your business’ social media content pipeline.
I’ll describe how you can do this and a few things you should consider for each social media platform here:
Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn
Each blog post should at the very least be cross-promoted on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or whatever social media platforms your business is utilizing. Instead of just posting the title to your blog post, try also sharing a key point, or posing an interesting question to drive engagement.
A word of caution here is to not over-promote your content on these platforms. Limit your cross-promotion to a single post on each of these social media networks so you don’t come across as spamming your audiences’ timelines.
Get the most out of your blog post by also cross-promoting it on Twitter. In addition to tweeting the title of your article with a link, schedule follow-up tweets to share each of the key points, statistics, and otherwise tweet-worthy anecdotes.
The number of tweets that can be created from the contents of a blog post is dependent on how many points of value you’re able to extrapolate. The key here is to ensure that each of your tweets can stand on its own as being of value to your audience.
Pinterest might not seem at first like an obvious social media network through which to extend the value of your blog post, but there are often opportunities to share content from your blog here as well. Create images that highlight key points, lists, ideas, how-to’s, or other information from your blog post.
Similar to Twitter, the number of Pinterest pins that can be created from your blog post is reliant on how many individual points from your blog post alone can provide value to your consumers. When creating Pinterest pins, ensure that the content you will be sharing from your blog post is enhanced by the added visual element that is inherent on the platform.
Your blog posts can be reimagined as scripts or speaking points for YouTube videos. Video content can be created to touch on all of the points included on your blog, or you can create a series of shorter vignettes to engage your consumers with more bite-sized content.
Alternatively, your blog posts don’t need to be the beginning and end of a conversation. YouTube can be used to dig into certain points, provide additional context, highlight practical application, or interview others to gain their perspective on your content.
In addition to placing a huge amount of effort into creating content that will provide value to your consumers, you should also be focused on how you can get the most value from the content you create. By deconstructing your blog posts into content for your business’ other social media properties you’ll be able to extend the reach of your content by reaching different consumers on different platforms, and you’ll be able to save your social media and content marketing teams a huge amount of time creating content.
How do you deconstruct your blog content for use on other social media networks?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Having a steady flow of engaging and valuable content is a constant challenge for most businesses and brands.
The time and effort required to produce incredible Facebook updates, powerful tweets, stunning pins, captivating videos for YouTube, and longer format blog posts is a challenge that many businesses find overwhelming.
Social media and content marketing require incredibly hard work if you are going to experience the full benefits they have to offer. That’s just a fact.
A result of businesses coming to this realization, I’ve found that many turn to content curation as their primary method of feeding their content pipelines. There’s a ton of great content being published all the time about every imaginable topic, so why not share that with your audience? Right? Well, there are drawbacks to this.
While you might assume that based on what I’ve just written I’ll be going on to preach the virtues of content creation, there are actually pros and cons to exclusively applying one approach over the other to engage your business’ audience.
Before I get to providing a recommendation about creating versus curating your business’ content, I think it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of each.
The benefits of content creation are numerous to say the least.
- The content you create is exclusively yours.
- Consumers who enjoy your content will need to come to you as the source, and return for more.
- The value you offer will be unique to your audience.
- You will be more likely to build a stronger, more loyal audience.
- You will be able to directly demonstrate your business’ knowledge, expertise and experience.
- It is possible to very specifically tailor content to your target demographic.
- The content you create can be optimized for search to give your business better search engine rankings.
- The tone, voice and personality of your business can be showcased.
- Your content can work toward addressing your business’ unique goals and objectives.
… and on.
On the flip side, there are many reasons that keep some businesses from creating their own content on an ongoing and regular basis. And these reasons are completely legitimate. Again, not a comprehensive list, but here are some of the downsides.
- Content creation can be incredibly time consuming.
- It adds an extra layer of pressure to sustain regular creation of content.
- It can take a great deal of time and dedication before your business can experience real measurable success through content marketing.
- The creation or rich multimedia content such as audio, video or still imagery can be expensive.
- Depending on the category in which your organization competes, and the nature of the content you create, you can be opening your business up to criticism.
- You are providing your audience with only a single perspective on the subject of your content.
Finding relevant content to your business, posting it to your social media channels, and engaging with your audience around other organizations’ content can be amazing for your business’ social media channels for reasons of its own.
- Content is incredibly abundant.
- It’s less time consuming to curate content than to create it.
- You can likely post with greater regularity if content is curated.
- It’s easy to offer your audience numerous perspectives on a given subject.
- Sharing other peoples’ content is inherently social; always a good thing on social media.
- There are many tools that are available to make curating content incredibly efficient.
Similar to just about anything in life that is relatively easy to do, curating content as your business’ primary method of engagement on social media has its drawbacks.
- Curated content will never be demonstrative of your capabilities, expertise or experience.
- By featuring others’ relevant content, you could inadvertently be promoting your competition.
- Your content calendar can become a bit of a slave to the content being created by others.
- Engagement with curated content can be lower than with content you’ve created by virtue of the fact that your audience could be engaging with it elsewhere.
- It might be more difficult to achieve your business objectives by solely posting curated content.
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THIS
Creating unique social media content for your business, and curating relevant content for your audience, are both valid approaches to filling your content pipeline. This said, there is no single approach that will yield the best results.
You may want to experiment with the balance of content you publish that is created by your organization versus curated. Factors that influence this ratio are likely to include the time and resources you have to put toward creating unique content, the level of organizational support you have for social media and content marketing, the value that can be gained by developing relationships with other content creators, and your business objectives to list a few.
Providing your audience with a healthy and manageable mix of uniquely created content and curated content will maximize your ability to consistently provide value to them while also demonstrating what your business is all about.
Do you find it is typically your unique content, or curated content, that your audience is most interested in?
How do you balance the content you create with the content you curate?
What keeps you from either creating your own content, or including curated content as part of your social media strategy?
It would be awesome to discuss this with you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial