The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Youtube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.
No matter what you’re selling, no matter what your company does, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest video platforms, you are going to lose. And in case you haven’t noticed, the platforms of distribution for video content online have shifted drastically over the last 18 months. Facebook is getting more daily minutes watched than YouTube, Snapchat’s daily views are now in the billions, and video on Twitter has taken listening and one to one branding to a whole new level.
Now, maybe I’ve scared you a bit, but don’t worry because I’m here to make sure you understand the landscape of all the biggest social platforms that matter right now. By the end of this article, you’ll have the information you need to kill at video. I promise.
YouTube Video is a Library of Content
Let’s get started with the obvious, the granddaddy of video online: YouTube. Here is why I won’t be drilling down on strategy for YouTube in this article. I know, you’re already skeptical, but hear me out. YouTube is huge. I’m not denying that. It’s a library of video content: 300 hours worth of video content are pushed to YouTube every minute. Heck, I even got my start there with a popular show about wine. It helped me launch a career and grow a personal brand. And for that reason, I still find YouTube valuable for business. In fact, I have another show on there now that is doing similar things for me that the earlier wine show did.
Check it out:
Growing my brand. Reaching new audiences. So it’s clear that over the years, YouTube continues to be a video content giant for businesses and personal brands.
But the problem with YouTube is that it’s in a downward trend compared to Facebook’s 4 billion daily video streams; A number that’s only going to continue to grow with time.
Due to its sheer size, there’s a ton of competition amongst videos on YouTube all fighting to be seen. When you have a platform with over a billion users, all wanting the same thing (exposure), it’s going to get noisy. And it’s been figured out. Marketers have ruined it. Because of that, it’s much harder to break through the noise which makes hosting your content on the platform much less valuable.
Additionally, it doesn’t have the capabilities of other growing video platforms, and so far, they haven’t shown signs of catching up.
“So, what exactly are those capabilities other platforms have?” you might ask.
Well, here’s the big one: data. Data data data. And the leader in that domain is, without a doubt, Facebook.
Video on Facebook is Good at Everything: Smart, Shareable & Personal
Facebook video for my brand has become the best way to reach my fans at scale. Couple that with their new video ad products for sales and direct response and the fact that they’re the greatest data company of all time for marketers and you have some serious reasons to spend some real money on Facebook video ads and video content for Facebook.
Think about it for a second. If you’re creating video content for YouTube, and not putting those videos onto Facebook as well, your brand or business is losing distribution – not to mention relevancy. No questions asked.
And I don’t mean cross channel promotion by pasting a link to YouTube on your Facebook page as a status update. I mean uploading the video natively to Facebook, so that it lives in your Facebook page’s video content. Why? Because right now, Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is placing an enormous amount of weight on videos, otherwise known as “reach.” When you upload videos natively, instead of linking out, you have a much higher chance of your video being seen by your community (and new fans, too). Google and Facebook are competitors, so if you think Facebook wants to have YouTube links perform well in their Newsfeed algorithm, you better think again.
YouTube should honestly be concerned; Facebook is already on its way to becoming a massive competitor when it comes to video marketing and content distribution. They are sitting on an enormous amount of targetable consumer data. It creates the ultimate marketing machine. For example, let’s say you upload a video natively, like I talked about before, about the best places to eat ice cream outdoors in your town. You could then spend money on a sponsored video to directly market your brand’s video to people who 1) love ice cream and 2) live in your area and 3) have kids. Automatically, you’re reaching the audience who is most interested and profitable to your business — Which is great, because you’re not wasting anyone’s time, and you’re truly reaching the consumers who will be interested in your business’s offering.
Get it? Facebook gives you the ability to target consumers like we’ve never seen before in digital.
And Facebook knows. They’ve added features in the last few months that point to the fact that they are increasing the amount of attention they give video: view count, embedding options, video for website conversions. This means there is more to come.
I’ll go into a couple of the biggest ones.
Video on Twitter is for Engagement: Direct, Social, & Real
Twitter’s new video product that was released late January has changed the way I use and consume the platform. Video on Twitter truly is social and the best way to use Twitter video is by connecting and engaging, rather than just pushing. As Twitter has grown in size, it’s become a listening platform.
Six years ago, I could send a tweet and get more engagement on it than I do now. I had less of an audience, but the audience was paying closer attention. It was more serious. Now the amount of information and users on that platform has gotten so intense that it’s hard to have that same engagement. It’s hard to get anyone’s attention.
That’s why, the real way to win with Twitter video, is through engagement — using it as a “pull” rather than a “push.”
The truth is, people respond to effort. When a celebrity favorites your tweet, you get excited. Someone you admire likes a photo of yours on Instagram, it makes you feel good. Because, in reality, it’s not about the 100th of a second it takes to double tap that photo — it’s about the fact that they looked at your profile. They chose a photo. They saw it. And they “liked” it. That interaction, which takes all of 5 or 6 seconds, really touches people in a way that is unique to the powers that be on social.
With Twitter’s new video feature, they’ve been able to take that feeling to the next level.
All you have to do is get in there and engage. Reply to a tweet using the camera option, select video, and start talking. It takes me nine to twelve seconds to make a video and reply, but those extra seconds hold a lot of meaning. Not to mention it’s more personal, visual, and we are living in a world where the visual is often regarded as a better engagement than the written.
There’s also more room to set the tone. A lot of things can get lost in a tweet. I might say “thnx” but that person isn’t 100% sure what my tone really was. But with Twitter video, the message comes across loud and clear.
It’s fifteen seconds of your attention on one person instead of two seconds. Do you know how much that means? Time is so incredibly precious to people. We are in control of it and we hate when it’s wasted. But you know what we value more? When someone else decides to lend their most precious asset to us.
That is what excites me most about Twitter video. Giving time to people. More time. Personalized time. And that is awesome.
Snapchat Video is the Hottie at the Gym: It’s All About Attention
Snapchat is huge right now.
They now have more than two billion video views a day.
And there are a few interesting things about Snapchat as a platform when it comes to how it works.
Snapchat gets your undivided attention because, in order to view a video, you have to have your finger on the screen.
It’s also one of the only platforms in which you can draw creative on top of the video, making for some awesome Snapchat exclusive artists like Shonduras.
Most importantly, videos have a maximum life of twenty four hours, or less if the users chooses to make it so. A video can last down to a second. The urgency to see something before it disappears can be a huge factor. I had a very successful start on the platform by Snapchatting users telling them to screenshot the snap before it disappeared and post it to Twitter to get a reply from me. People respond to that urgency.
And now, marketers are getting really serious about Snapchat as a platform to reach an enormous number of people due to some key changes Snapchat has released. Earlier this year, Snapchat launched the Discover section of the app. It’s a feature that allows users to receive content provided by media companies. Current participants include National Geographic, Vice, ESPN, and more. Eleven participants in all. It’s a very serious play on the company’s part because it puts it in a very aggressive place with the overall user interface of the app. It completely changes how the app is both perceived and used.
Not to mention Snapchat is now basically handing brands the thirteen to thirty-four demo through that Discover feature. Brands can have ads pre-roll before the content.
And while you may not be able to afford the pre-roll program they have, just the mere fact that these big brands and media companies have signed on should tell you something. Teens and young adults are using Snapchat all day and night. It’s one of their main forms of communication, and because of that, you need to care about it and learn to talk to them on it.
Whether your answer to that question is a yes or a no, you shouldn’t miss out on this enormous demographic just because you don’t get how they’re talking to each other. If you want to learn, you need to get in the trenches. Become a practitioner. Download Snapchat. Play around with it. Figure it out.
Facebook is becoming TV’s competitor
Bottom line: there is a f**k ton going on in video right now, and it’s the #1 way to capture the attention of the audience you’re going after for your small business, brand, or company. All these platforms use video differently and they all have their own social context that needs to be respected and taken into consideration. Take the time, put in the work, and produce the videos that will move your business in the right direction.
I’m not saying you should give up on YouTube. It’s still extremely relevant and important. But if you’re creating content for YouTube, throw that shit on Facebook as well. Reply using Twitter video. Stop being intimidated by Snapchat.
And let’s not forget: competition breeds innovation. I hope YouTube gets scared a little here; I hope Google is paying attention. It might lead to better quality innovation coming out of YouTube. They’ve been pretty stale for a half decade, and now these disruptors will push them.
I’ve mentioned all of the above without even going into the brand new world of live streaming (look for that article soon, though.) The bottom line is that video is king right now; it’s still evolving and changing rapidly. We’re living that. And Facebook Video is being grossly underestimated. Don’t get left behind. Get into it.
This article originally appeared HERE
You Are The Problem With Your Business
A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.
I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.
Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.
Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?
Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.
The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.
Your company is a reflection of you.
It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.
One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.
The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.
In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.
The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.
The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.
Take responsibility and it will change.
When you own the business, everything is your fault.
You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.
The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.
Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.
Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.
Change is a must.
Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.
“Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”
You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.
Not the business.
The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up
You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.
How to Evaluate Success
As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.
But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).
“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson
When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?
The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.
So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.
1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems
The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.
This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.
In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.
Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).
In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.
“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins
For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.
The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.
Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.
4. Time for Friends and Family
As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.
Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.
A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.
The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.
I spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.
I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.
People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.
This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.
I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.
I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.
That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.
Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.
I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.
They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.
All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.
Your clients tell you every day that you suck.
I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.
Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.
The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.
That wasn’t it.
You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.
I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.
Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.
The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.
They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.
“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.
I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.
The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.
It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.
The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.
You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.
A good business solves a problem.
That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.
This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.
Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.
Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.
Solving only your problem will make you poor.
The problem still wasn’t their website or product.
Creating more problems.
Everything this business owner sold created more problems.
They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.
They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.
They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.
Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.
If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.
The heart of the problem.
It’s the business owner.
The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.
The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.
You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.
Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.
Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.
Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.
18 Must Read Business Books for Emerging Entrepreneurs and Startups
Reading is both relaxation and training for the mind. Who reads, dives into another world. Learning, entertaining and breaking out of everyday life for a short moment. One could go even so far as to say reading is the second most beautiful thing in the world! Whether it is non-fiction or a novel of all the world’s man has created, the book is the most powerful tool. That is also, why we wanted to find out which business book you should undertake in the new year. (more…)
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